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CONSTANTIA AND PHILETUS. 1
SING two constant lovers' various fate,
The hopes and fears that equally attend Their loves; their rivals' envy, parents' hate: I sing their woeful life and tragic end.
Aid me, ye gods, this story to rehearse,
This mournful tale, and favour every verse!
Her, lavish Nature did at first adorn
With Pallas' soul in Cytherea's form:
Expect not beauty then, since she did part;
For in her Nature wasted all her art. Her hair was brighter than the bcams which are A crown to Phæbus; and her breath so sweet, It did transcend Arabian odours far, Or smelling flowers,wherewith the Spring doth greet
Approaching Summer; teeth, like falling snow
For white, were placed in a double row.
The maiden lilies at her sight
Wax'd pale with envy,and from thence grew white. She was in birth and parentage as high As in her fortune great or beauty rare; And to her virtuous mind's nobility The gifts of Fate and Nature doubled were ;
That in her spotless soul and lovely face
You might have seen each deity and grace.
The glorious beams of her fair eyes did move,
And light beholders on their way to love.
With that blest object, or her rareness see;
For Beauty's guard is watchful Jealousy.
But his poor master, though to see her more
His joy, dares show no look betraying love. Soon as the Morning left her rosy bed, And all Heaven's smaller lights were driven away, She, by her friends and near acquaintance led, Like other maids, would walk at break of day:
Aurora blush'd to see a sight unknown,
To behold cheeks more beauteous than her own. Th'obsequious lover follows still her train, And where they go, that way his journey feigns : Should they turn back, he would turn back again; For with his love, his business does remain.
Nor is it strange he should be loth to part
From her, whose eyes had stole away his heart Philetus he was callid, sprung from a race Of noble ancestors; but greedy Time And envivus Fate had laboured to deface The glory which in his great stock did shine:
Small his estate, unfitting her degree;
But blinded Love could no such difference see.
But yet he fears, because he blinded is,
Where having wept, recovering breath again, No morning-banish'd darkness, nor black night
Thus to immortal Love he did complain : By her alternate course expellid the day, "Oh, mighty Cupid ! whose unbounded sway
In which Philetus by a constant rite Hath often ruld th’ Olympian thunderer ;
At Cupid's altars did not weep and pray ; Whom all celestial deities obey;
And yet he nothing reap'd for all his pain, Whom men and gods both reverence and fear !
But care and sorrow was his only gain. Oh force Constantia's heart to yield to love! But now at last the pitying god, o'ercome
Of all thy works the master-piece 'twill prove. By constant votes and tears, fix'd in her heart “ And let me not affection vainly spend,
A golden shaft, and she is now become But kindle flames in her like those in me;
A suppliant to Love, that with like dart Yet if that gift my fortune doth transcend,
He'd wound Philetus; does with tears implore Grant that her charming beauty I may see!
Aid from that power, she so much scorn'd be
fore, For ever view those eyes, whose charming light, More than the world besides, does please my Little she thinks she kept Philctus' heart sight.
In ner scorch'd breast, because her own she gave “Those who contemn thy sacred deity,
To him. Since either suffers equal smart,
And a like measure in their torments have : Laugh at thy power, make them thinc anger know:
His soul, his griefs, his fires, now her's are grown: I faultless am ; what honour can it be,
Her heart, her mind, her love, is his alone. Only to wound your slave and spare your foe?” Whilst thoughts 'gainst thoughts rise up in muHere tears and sighs speak his imperfect moan,
tiny, In language far more moving than his own. She took a lute (being far from any ears)
And tun'd this song, posing that harmony Home he retird, his soul he brought not home;
Which poets attribute to heavenly spheres. Just like a ship, while every mounting wave,
Thus had she sung when her dear love was slain, Toss'd by enraged Boreas up and down, Threatens the mariner with a gaping grave;
She'd surely callid him back from Styx again. Such did his case, such did his state appear,
TO whom shall I my sorrows show?
And my Philetus doth not know Oi bis unhappy fate, but all in vain;
The inward torment of my mind. Ad thus fond Echo answers him again :
And all these senseless walls, which are It mov'd Aurora, and she wept to hear,
Now round about me, cannot hear; Dewing the verdant grass with many a tear. For, if they could, they sure would weep,
And with my griefs relent:
Unless their willing tears they keep,
Till I from Earth am sent. “ Oh! what hath caus'd my killing miseries ?”
Then I believe they 'll all deplore “ Eyes,” Echo said, “ What hath detained my
My fate, since I taught them before,
I willingly would weep my store, “ Ease,” straight the reasonable nymph replies. If th'flood would land thy love, “ That nothing can my troubled mind appease?" My dear Philetus, on the shore
“ Peace," Echo answers. “What, is any nigh?” Of my heart; but, should'st thou prore Philetus said. She quickly utters, “.”
Afraid of flames, know the fires are “ Is't Echo answers ? tell me then thy will :"
But bonfires for thy coming there. “ I WILI,” she said. “What shall I get,” says he, THEN tears in envy of her speech did Aow “ By loving still ?" To which she answers,
From her fair eyes, as if it seem'd that there “ III ! Shall I void of wish'd-for pleasures die?” Her burning flame had melted hills of snow,
“].” “Shall not I, who toil in ceaseless pain, And so dissolr'd them into many a tear;
And quickly caus’d new serpent griefs to grow, “ False and inconstant nymph, thou lyest !” said Here stay, my Muse; for if I should recite
Her mournful language, I should make you weep “THOU LYEST,” she said ; "And I deserv'd ber hate, Like her, a food, and so not see to write If I should thee believe.” “Believe," saith she. Such lines as I, and th' age requires, to keep “ For why? thy idle words are of no weight." Me from stem Death, or with victorious rhyme “Weight,” she answers. “Therefore I'll depart.” Revenge their master's death, and conquer To which resounding Echo answers, “ PART.”
He weeps to quench the fires that burn in him, And, as time serv'd, show her his misery :
ease ? »
Thus to himself, sooth'd by his flattering state, “ Long have I staid, but yet have no relief; He said; “ How shall I thank thee for this gain, Long have I lov'd, yet have no favour shown ; O Cupid! or rewand my helping Fate,
Because she knows not of my killing grief, Which sweetens all my sorrows, all my pain ? And I have fear'd to make my sorrows known. What husbandman would any pains refuse,
For why? alas! if she should once but dart To reap at last such fruit, his labour's use ?" Disdainful looks, 'twould break my captiv'd heart But, when he wisely weigh'd his doubtful state, “But how should she, cre I impart my love, Seeing his griefs link'd like an endless chain Reward my ardent flame with like desire ? To following woes, he would when 'twas too late But when I speak, if she should angry prove, Quench his hot flames, and idle love disdain. Laugh at my flowing tears, and scorn my fire ? But Cupid, when his heart was sct on fire,
Why, he who hath all sorrows borne before, Had burnt his wings, who could not then retire. Needeth not fear to be opprest with more.” The wounded youth and kind Philocrates
Philocrates no longer can forbear, (So was her brother call’d) grew soon so dear, Runs to his friend, and sighing, “ Oh !" said he, So true and constant in their amities,
“My dear Philetus! be thyself, and swear And in that league so strictly joined were,
To rule that passion which now masters thce, That death itself could not their friendship sever, And all thy reason; but, if it can't be,
But, as they liv'd in love, they died together. Give to thy love but eyes, that it may see." If one be melancholy, th' other's sad;
Amazement strikes him dumb; what shall he do? If one be sick, the other's surely ill;
Should he reveal his love, he fears 'twould prove And if Philetus any sorrow had,
A hindrance; and, should he deny to shew, Philocrates was partner in it still:
It might perhaps his dear friend's anger more: Pylades' soul, and mad Orestes', was
These doubts, like Scylla and Charybdis, stand, In these, if we believe Pythagoras.
Whilst Cupid, a blind pilot, doth command. Oft in the woods Philetus walks, and there
At last resolv'd : “ How shall I seek,” said he, Exclaims against his fate, fate too unkind : “ T'excuse myself, dearest Philocrates! With speaking tears his griefs he doth declare, That I from thee have hid this secrecy? And with sad sighs instructs the angry wind Yet censure not; give me first leave to ease [known To sigh; and did ev'n upon that prevail;
My case with words : my grief you should have It groan'd to hear Philetus' mournful tale. Ere this, if that my heart had been my own. The crystal brooks, which gently run between *“ I am all love; my heart was burnt with fire The shadowinz trees, and, as they through them pass, From two bright suns, which do all light disclose; Water the earth, and keep the meadows green, First kindling in my breast the flame desire : Giring a colour to the verdant grass,
But, like the rare Arabian bird, there rose, Hearing Philetus tell his woeful state,
From my heart's ashes, never quenched Love, In show of gricf run murmuring at his fate.
Which now this tormentin my soul doth move. Philomel answers him again, and shows,
“Oh! let not then my passion cause your hate In her best language, her sad history,
Nor let my choice offend you, or detain And in a mournful sweetness tells her woes, Your ancient friendship; 'tis, alas! too late Denying to be pos'd in misery:
To call my firm affection back again : Constantia he, she Tereus, Tereus, cries;
No physic can re-cure my weaken'd state, With him both grief, and grief's expression, vies. The wound is grown too great, too desperate." Philocrates must needs his sadness know,
" But counsel," said his friend, a remedy Willing in ills, as well as joys, to share,
Which never fails the patient, may at least,
Who leaves to guide the ship when storms arise, But there is no physician can apply
A med'cine ere he know the inalady."
I will not toil thee with my history; Desirous to partake his malady,
For to remember sorrows past away, He watches him, in hope to cure his sore
Is to renew an old calamity. By counsel, and recall the poisonous dart,
He who acquainteth others with his moan, When it, alas! was fixed in his heart.
Adds to his friend's grief, but not cures his own," When in the woods, places best fit for care, “ But,” said Philocrates, “ 'tis best, in woe, He to himself did his past griefs recite,
'To have a faithful partner of their care; Th'obsequious friend straight follows him, and there That burthen may be undergone by two, Doth hide himself from sad Philetus' sight; Which is perhaps too great for one to bear.
Who thus exclaims (for a swoln heart would break, I should mistrust your love, to hide from me If it for vent of sorrow might not speak):
Your thoughts, and tax you of inconstancy.” “ Oh! I am lost, not in this desert wood,
What sball he do? or with what language frame But in Love's pathless labyrinth ; there I
Excuse? He must resolve not to deny, My health, each joy and pleasure counted good, But open his close thoughts and inward flame : Have lost, and, which is more, my liberty ; With that, as prologue to his tragedy, And now am forc'd to let him sacrifice
He sigh’d, as if they'd cool his torments' ire, My heart, for rash believing of my, eyes.
When they, alas ! did blow the raging fire.
“ When years first stylid me twenty, I began But, if beyond those limits you demand, To sport with catching snares that Love had set: I must not answer, sir, nor understand.” Ijke birds that flutter round the gin till ta'en,
“ Belicve me, virtuous maiden! my desire Or the poor fly caught in Arachne's net,
Is chaste and pious as thy virgin thought; Even so I sported with her beauty's light,
No flash of lust, 'lis no dishonest fire, Till I at last grew blind with too much sight.
Which goes as soon as it was quickly brought; “ First it came stealing on me, whilst I thought But as thy beauty pure; which let not be "I'was easy to repel it ; but as fire,
Eclipsed by disdain and cruelty !" Though but a spark, soon into flames is brought,
“Oh! how shall I reply?” she cry'd, “thou 'st So inine grew great, and quickly mounted higher ;
(wou Which so have scorch'd my love-struck soul, My soul, and therefore take thy victory:
Thy eyes and speeches have my heart o'ercome, that 1
And if I should deny thee love, then I Still live in torment, yet each minute die.”
Should be a tyrant to myself : that fire “ Who is it,” said Philocrates, “ can move
Which is kept close burns with the greatest ire. With charming cyes such deep affection?
“ Yet do not count my yielding lightness, now; I may perhaps assist you in your love;
Impute it rather to my arlent love; Two can effect more than yourself alone.
Thy pleasing carriage won me long ago, My counsel this thy errour may reclaim,
And pleading Beauty did myliking move; [might Or my salt tears qucnch thy destructive flame.”
Thy cyes, which draw like loadstones with their Nay,” said Philetus,“ oft my eyes do now The hardest hearts, won mine to leave me Like Nilus, when it scorns th' opposed shore ;
quite.” Yet all the watery plenty I bestow,
“Oh! I am rapt above the reach,” said he, Is to my flame an oil that feeds it more.
“Of thought; my soul already feels the bliss [thee So fame reports o' th’ Dodonéan spring,
Of Heaven : when, sweet, my thoughts once tax but That lightens all those which are put therein.
With any crime, may I lose all happiness “ But, being you desire to know her, she
Is wish'd for: both your favour here, and dead, Is call'd” (with that his eyes let fall a shower, May the just gods pour vengeance on my head!” As if they fain would drown the memory
Whilst he was speaking this (behold their fate !) Of his life-keeper's name) “ Constantia--" More
Constantia's father enter'd in the room, Grief would not let hiin utter; tears, the best
When glad Philetus, ignorant of his state, Expressers of true sorrow, spoke the rest.
Kisses her cheeks, more red than setting Sun, To which his noble friend did thus reply :
Orelse the Morn, blushing through clouds of water, “ And was this all ? Whate'er your grief would ease, To see ascending Sol congratulate her. Though a far greater task, believe't, for thee
Just as the guilty prisoner fearful stands, It should be soon done by Philocrates :
Reading his fatal s'heta in the brows Think all your wish perform'd; but see, the day,
Of him who both his life and death commands,
Ere from his mouth be the sad sentence knows :
Nor wish'd-for, nor expected, in the room.
Th' enrag'd old man bids him no more to dare At night in dreams, like truth, afl'rights his mind.
Such bold intrusion in that house, nor be Why dost thou vex him, Love? Could'st thon but
At any time with his lov'd daughter there, Tbc1 would'st thyself Philetus' rival be. (see, Till he had given him such authority: Philocrates, pitying his doleful moan,
But to depart, since she her love did show him, And wounded with the sorrows of his friend,
Was living death, with lingering torments, to hin Brings him to fair Constantia ; where alone
This being known to kind Philocrates, He might impart his love, and either end
He chears his friend, bidding him banish fear, His fruitless hopes, nipt by her coy disdain, And by some letter his griev'd mind appease, Or, by her liking, his wisht joys attain.
And show her that which to her friendly ear. « Fairest,” said he, “ whom the bright Heavens do Time gave no leave to tell: and thus bis quil cover,
Declares to her the absent lover's will.
PHILETUS TO CONSTANTIA. And do not you contemn that ardent flame,
Which from yourself, your own fair beauty, came! I TRUST, dear soul, my absence cannot more “ Trust me, I long have hid my love ; but now
You to forget or doubt my ardent love : Am forc'd to show't, such is my inward smart!
For, were there any means to see you, I And you alone, fair saint! the means do know
Would run through death, and all the misery 'To heal the wound of my consuming heart.
Fate could inflict; that so the world might say,
In'life and death I lov'd Constantia.'
Then let not, dearest sweet, our absence pare
Our loves, but each breast keep the other's heari His gently cruel love did thus reply;
Give warmth to one another, till there rise “I for your pain am grieved, and would do, From all our labours and our industries Without impeachment of my chastity
The long-expected fruits: bave patience, sweet! And honour, any thing might pleasure you. There's no man whom the summer pleasures greet Before he taste the winter ; none can say,
Comfort's Sun we then shall see, Ere night was gone, he saw the rising day.
Though at first it darken'd be So, when we once have wasted Sorrow's night, With dangers; yet, those clouds but gone, The Sun of Comfort then shall give us light.
Our Day will put his lustre on. PHILETUS. Then, though Death's sad night appear,
And we in lonely silence rest;
But with lasting day be blest.
And then no friends can part us more,
Nor no new death extend its power; Then thus with ink and tears writes back again.
Thus there's nothing can dissever
Hearts which Love hath join'd together.
FEAR of being seen, Philetus homeward drove,
But ere they part she willingly doth give YOUR absence, sir, though it be long, yet
(As faithful pledges of her constant love). Neither forget nor doubt your constancy.
Many a soft kiss; then they each other leave, Nor need you fear that I should yield unto
Rapt up with secret joy that they have found Another, what to your true love is due.
A way to heal the torment of their wound.
But, ere the Sun through many days had run, There's nought but death can part our souls ; no
Constantia's charming beauty had o'ercome time,
Guisarlo's heart, and scorn'd affection won ; Or angry friends, shall make my love decline : Her eyes soon conquer'd all they shone upon, But for the harvest of our hopes I'll stay,
Shot through his wounded heart such hot de Unless Death cut it, ere 'tis ripe, away.
As nothing but her love could quench the fire. CONSTANTIA.
In roofs which gold and Parian stone adorn Oh! how this letter seem'd to raise his pride! (Proud as the owner's mind) he did abound; Prouder was he of this than Phæton,
in fields so fertile for their yearly corn, When he did Phæbus' flaming chariot guide, As might contend with scorch'd Calabria's Unknowing of the danger was to come:
ground; Prouder than Jason, when from Colchos he
But in his soul, that should contain the store Returned with the fleece's victory,
Of surest riches, he was base and poor. But ere the autumn, which fair Ceres crown'd, Him was Constantia urg'd continually, Had paid the sweating plowman's greediest prayer, By her friends, to love: sometimes they did enAnd by the fall disrobed the gaudy ground
treat Of all those ornaments it us'd to wear;
With gentle speeches and mild courtesy ; Them kind Philocrates t' each other brought, Which when they see despis’d by her, they Where they “his means enjoy their freedom threat. wrought.
But love too deep was seated in her heart, “Sweet fair-one,” said Philetus, since the time
To be worn-out by thought of any smart. Pavours our wish, and does afford us leave
Soon did her father to the woods repair, T enjoy our loves; oh, let us not resign
To seek for sport, and hunt the started game; This long'd-for favour, nor ourselves bereave Guisardo and Philocrates were there, Of what we wish'd for, opportunity,
With many friends too tedious here to name: That may too soon the wings of Love out-fly!
With them Constantia went, but not to find “For when your father, as his custom is,
The bear or wolf, but Love, all mild and
kind. For pleasure doth pursue the timorous hare, If you 'll resort but thither, I'll not miss
Being enter'd in the pathless woods, while they To be in those woods ready for you, where
Pursue their game, Philetus, who was late We may depart in safety, and no more
Hid in a thicket, carries straight away With dreams of pleasure only, heal our sore." His love, and hastens his own hasty fate To this the happy lovers soon agree;
That came too soon upon him; and his sum » But, ere they part, Philetus begs to hear,
Was quite eclips'd before it fully shone. From her enchanting voice a melody,
Constantia miss'd, the hunters in amaze One song to satisfy his longing ear:
Take each a several course, and by curst Fate She yields; and, singing added to desire,
Guisardo runs, with a love-carried pace, The listening youth increas'd his amorous fire.
Tow'rds them, who little knew their woeful stato
Philetus, like bold Icarus, soaring high
To honours, found the depth of misery.
For when Guisardo sees his rival there,
Swelling with envious rage, he comes behind TIME! Aly with greater speed away,
Philetus, who such fortune did not fear, Add feathers to thy wings,
And with his sword a way to's heart does find. Till thy haste in flying brings
But, ere his spirits were possest of death, That wisd’d-for; and expected day.
In these few words he spent his latest broath: