Изображения страниц

Ouid's Banquet of Șence. A Coronet for his Mistresse Philosophie, and his amorous Zodiacke. With a translation of a Latine coppie, written by a Fryer, Anno Dom. 1400. Quis leget hæc? Nemo Hercule Nemo, vel duo vel nemo: Persius. At London, Printed by I. R. for Richard Smith. Anno Dom. 1595.”

Ovid's Banquet of Sence. With A Coronet for his Mistresse Philosophy; and His Amorous Zodiack. Quis leget hæc? Nemo Hercule Nemo, vel duo vel nemo: Persius. London. Printed by B. A. and T. F. and are to be sold by R. Horseman, at his shop in the Strand neere unto Yorke House. 1639.”

Ovid's Banquet of Sense.





Such is the wilful poverty of judgments, sweet Matthew, wandering like passportless men, in contempt of the divine discipline of Poesy, that a man may well fear to frequent their walks. The profane multitude I hate, and only consecrate my strange poems to those searching spirits, whom learning hath made noble, and nobility sacred ; endeavouring that material oration, which you call Schema; varying in some rare fiction, from popular custom, even for the pure sakes of ornament and utility; this of Euripides exceeding sweetly relishing with me; Lentem coquens ne quicquam dentis addito.

But that Poesy should be as pervial as oratory, and plainness her special ornament, were the plain way to barbarism, and to make the ass run proud of his ears, to take away strength from lions, and give camels horns.

That Energia, or clearness of representation, required in absolute poems, is not the perspicuous delivery of a low invention ; but high and hearty invention expressed in most significant and unaffected phrase. It serves not a skilful painter's turn to draw the figure of a face only to make known who it represents ; but he must limn, give lustre, shadow, and heightening ; which though ignorants will esteem spiced, and too curious, yet such as have the judicial perspective will see it hath motion, spirit, and life.

There is no confection made to last, but it is admitted more cost and skill than presently-to-be-used simples ; and in my opinion, that which being with a little endeavour searched, adds a kind of majesty to Poesy, is better than that which every cobbler may sing to his patch.

Obscurity in affection of words and indigested conceits, is pedantical and childish ; but where it shroudeth itself in the heart of his subject, uttered with fitness of figure and expressive epithets, with that darkness will I still labour to be shadowed. Rich minerals are digged out of the bowels of the earth, not found in the superficies and dust of it; charms made of unlearned characters are not consecrate by the Muses, which are divine artists, but by Euippe's daughters, that challenged them with mere nature, whose breasts I doubt not had been well worthy commendation, if their comparison had not turned them into pyes.

Thus (not affecting glory for mine own slight labours, but desirous others should be more worthily glorious, nor professing sacred Poesy in any degree), I thought good to submit to your apt judgment, acquainted long since with the true habit of Poesy; and now, since your labouring wits endeavour heaven-high thoughts of Nature, you have actual means to sound the philosophical conceits, that my new pen so seriously courteth. I know that empty and dark spirits will complain of palpable night; but those that beforehand have a radiant and light-bearing intellect, will say they can pass through Corinna's garden without the help of a lantern.

Your own most worthily
and sincerely affected,




Ovid, newly enamoured of Julia, daughter to Octavius Augustus Cæsar, after by him called Corinna, secretly conveyed himself into a garden of the Emperor's court, in an arbour whereof Corinna was bathing, playing upon her lute and singing ; which Ovid

overhearing was exceedingly pleased with the sweetness of her voice, and to himself uttered the comfort he conceived in his sense of Hearing.

Then the odours she used in her bath breathing a rich savour, he Olfactus.

expressed the joy he felt in his sense of Smelling.

Thus growing more deeply enamoured in great contentment with himself,

he ventures to see her in the pride of her nakedness; which doing by stealth, Visus.

he discovered the comfort he conceived in Seeing, and the glory of her beauty.

Not yet satisfied, he useth all his art to make known his being there without her offence; or, being necessarily offended, to appease her, which

done, he entreats a kiss, to serve for satisfaction of his Taste, which he obtains. Tactus, Then proceeds he to entreaty for the fifth sense, and there is interrupted.



THE Earth from heavenly light conceived | When youth and ease, collectors of love's heat,

fees, Which mixed all her moist parts with Enticed Cor na to a silver spring, her dry,

Enchasing a round bower which with it When with right beams the Sun her bosom sees, beat,

As with a diamant doth an amell'd ring, And with fit food her plants did nutrify. Into which eye most pitifully stood, They which to Earth as to their mother Niobe shedding tears that were her 'blood.

cling, In forked roots now sprinkled plen- Stone Niobe, whose statue to this fountain, teously

In great Augustus Cæsar's grace, was With her warm breath, did hasten to the

brought, spring,

From Sypilus, the steep Mygdonian mounGather their proper forces and extrude All power but that with which they stood That statue 'tis, still weeps for former endued.


Into this spring Corinna's bathing place, Then did Cyrrhus* fill his eyes with fire, So cunningly to optic reason wrought Whose ardour curl'd the foreheads of the That afar off it show'd a woman's face,

trees, And made his green-love burn in his desire ;

* By prosopopeia, he makes the fountain the

eye of the round arbour, as a diamant seems to * Cyrrhus is a surname of the sun, from a be the eye of a ring; and therefore says, the town walled Cyrrha, where he was honoured. arbour sees with the fountain.

tain ;

Heavy and weeping ; but more nearly Then cast she off her robe and stood upview'd

right, Nor weeping, heavy, nor a woman show'd. As lightning breaks out of a labouring

cloud ; In summer only wrought her ecstasy, Or as the morning heaven casts off the And that her story might be still observed, night, Octavius caused in curious imagery

Or as that heaven cast off itself, and Her fourteen children should at large be show'd carved,

Heaven's upper light, to which the Their fourteen breasts with fourteen brightest day arrows gored ;

Is but a black and melancholy shroud ; And set by her, that for her seed so starved, Or as when Venus strived for sovereign

To a stone sepulchre herself deplored ; sway In ivory were they cut, and on each of charmful beauty in young Troy's desire, breast,

So stood Corinna, vanishing her 'tire. In golden elements their names imprest.

A soft enflower'd bank embraced the fount; Her sons were Sypilus, Agenor, Phoedimus, Of Chloris' ensigns, an abstracted field Ismenus, Argus, and Damasicthen, Where grew melanthy, great in bees' The seventh callid, like his grandsire, Tan- account, talus.

Amareus, that precious balm doth yield, Her daughters were the fair Astiochen, Enameli'd pansies, used at nuptials still, Chloris, Næera, and Pelopie,

Diana's. arrow, Cupid's crimson shield, Phaeta, proud Phthia, and Eugigen ; Ope-morn, night-shade, and Venus' All these apposed to violent Niobe,

navil, Had looks so deadly sad, so lively done, Solemn violets, hanging head as shamed, As if Death lived in their confusion. And verdant calaminth, for odour famed. Behind their mother two pyramides, Sacred nepenthe, purgative of care, Of freckled marble, through the arbour And sovereign rumex, that doth rancour view'd,

kill, On whose sharp brows, Sol and Tytanides, Sya and hyacinth, that furies wear, In purple and transparent glass were White and red jasmines, merry, meliphil, hew'd,

Fair crown-imperial, emperor of flowers, Through which the sunbeams on the Immortal amaranth, white aphrodil, statues staying,

And cup-like twillpants, strow'd in Made their pale bosoms seem with blood Bacchus' bowers. imbrued,

These cling about this nature's naked Those two stern planets' rigours still be- gem, wraying

To taste her sweets, as bees do swarm on To these dead forms came living beauty's them.

essence, Able to make them startle with her pre- And now she used the fount where Niobe, sence.

Tomb'd in herself, pour'd her lost soul in

tears In a loose robe of tinsel forth she came, Upon the bosom of this Roman Phæbe ; Nothing but it betwixt her nakedness Who, bathed and odour'd, her bright And envious light. The downward-burning limbs she rears, flame

And drying her on that disparent round, Of her rich hair did threaten new access Her lute she takes to enamour heavenly Of venturous Phaeton to scorch the


And try, if with her voice's vital sound, And thus to bathing came our poet's She could warm life through those cold goddess,

statues spread, Her handmaids bearing all things plea- And cheer the dame that wept when she sure yields

was dead. To such a service ; odours most delighted, And purest linen which her looks had And thus she sung, all naked as she sat, whited.

Laying the happy lute upon her thigh,

fields ;

Not thinking any near to wonder at “Now, Muses, come, repair your broken The bliss of her sweet breast's divinity.


Pluck'd and profaned by rustic ignorance, The SONG OF CORINNA.

With feathers of these notes my mistress

sings; Tis better to contemn than love,

And let quick verse her drooping head And to be fair than wise,

advance For souls are ruled by eyes :

From dungeons of contempt to smite the And Jove's bird seized by Cypris' dove

stars ; It is our grace and sport to see,

In Julia's tunes, led forth by furious trance, Our beauty's sorcery,

A thousand muses come to bid you wars. That makes, like destiny,

Dive to your spring, and hide you from Men follow us the more we flee ;

the stroke,
That sets wise glosses on the fool, All poets' furies will her tunes invoke.
And turns her cheeks to books,
Where wisdom sees in looks,

"Never was any sense so set on fire Derision, laughing at his school,

With an immortal ardour, as mine ears;
Who, loving, proves profaneness holy, Her fingers to the strings doth speech in-
Nature our
fate, our wisdom folly. spire

And number'd laughter, that the descant
While this was singing, Ovid young in love bears
With her perfections, never proving yet To her sweet voice, whose species through
How merciful a mistress she would prove, my sense,
Boldly embraced the power he could not My spirits to their highest function rears ;

To which impress'd with ceaseless conAnd, like a fiery exhalation,

fluence, Follow'd the sun he wish'd might never set; It useth them, as proper to her power,

Trusting herein his constellation, Marries my soul, and makes itself her Ruled by love's beams, which Julia's eyes dower.

erected, Whose beauty was the star his life directed. “Methinks her tunes fly guilt, like Attic

bees, And having drench'd his ancles in those To my ears' hives with honey tried to air ; seas,

My brain is but the comb, the wax, the He needs would swim, and cared not if he lees, drown'd,

My soul the drone that lives by their affair. Love's feet are in his eyes ; for if he please O so it sweets, refines and ravisheth. The depth of beauty's gulfy flood to sound, And with what sport they sting in their

He goes upon his eyes, and up to them repair : At the first step he is ; no shadier ground Rise then in swarms and sting me thus

Could Ovid find; but in love's holy stream to death, Was past his eyes, and now did wet his Or turn me into swound, possess me whole

Soul to my life, and essence to my soul. For his high sovereign's silver voice he hears.

“Say, gentle Air, O does it not thee good,

Thus to be smit with her correcting voice? Whereat his wit assumed fiery wings, Why dance ye not, ye daughters of the Soaring above the temper of his soul ;

wood ? And he the purifying rapture sings Wither for ever, if not now rejoice. Of his ears' sense, takes full the Thespian Rise stones, and build a city with her bowl,

notes, And ir carouseth to his mistress' health, And notes infuse with your most Cynthian Whose sprightful verdure did dull flesh noise, control;

To all the trees, sweet flowers, and crystal And his conceit he crowneth with the floats, wealth

That crown and make this cheerful garden Of all the muses in his pleased senses,

quick, When with the ears' delight he thus Virtue, that every touch may make such commences :



« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »