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The Amorous Zodiac.

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Of a new Zodiac ; a new Phoebus guisI NEVER see the sun, but suddenly

ing, My soul is moved with spite and jealousy

When, without altering the course of Of his high bliss, in his sweet course I'll make the seasons good, and every

nature, discern'd : And am displeased to see so many signs,

creature As the bright sky unworthily divines,

Shall henceforth reckon day, from my

first rising. Enjoy an honour they have never earn'd.


To open then the spring-time's golden To think heaven decks with such a beau

gate, teous show,

And flower my race with ardour tempeA harp, a ship, a serpent, or a crow ;

rate, And such a crew of creatures of no I'll enter by thy head, and have for prices,

house But to excite in us th' unshamefaced In my first month, this heaven Ram-curled flames,

tress, With which, long since, Jove wrong'd so of which Love all his charm-chains doth many dames,

address, Reviving in his rule their names and A sign fit for a spring so beauteous. vices.

III. Dear mistress, whom the Gods bred here Lodged in that fleece of hair, yellow and below,

curl'd, T'express their wondrous power, and let I'll take high pleasure to enlight the world,

And fetter me in gold, thy crisp us know

plies That before thee they nought did per

Earth, at this spring, spongy and languorfect make; Why may not I-asin those signs, the sun

With envy of our joys in love become, Shine in thy beauties, and as roundly run,

Shall swarm with flowers, and air with To frame, like him, an endless Zodiac.

painted flies.


Thy smooth embow'd brow, where all With thee I'll furnish both the year and grace I see, sky,

My second month, and second house shall Running in thee my course of destiny: And thou shalt be the rest of all my Which brow, with her clear beauties moving,

shall delight But of thy numberless and perfect graces, The Earth, yet sad, and overture confer To give my moons their full in twelve To herbs, buds, flowers, and verdure-gracmonths' spaces,

ing-Ver, I choose but twelve in guerdon of my Rendering her more than Summer exloving

quisite. V. Keeping even way through every excel- All this fresh April, this sweet month of lence,

Venus, I'll make in all an equal residence

I will admire this brow so bounteous ;






do grace

This brow, brave court of love and Which nature strived to fashion with her virtue builded ;

best, This brow, where Chastity holds garrison ; That she might never turn to show more This brow that blushless none can look skill, upon,

And that the envious fool, used to speak ill, This brow, with every grace and honour Might feel pretended fault choked in his gilded.

breast. X.

XV. Resigning that, to perfect this my year, The violent season in a sign so bright, I'll come to see thine eyes, that now I Still more and more, become more proud

of light, Thine eyes, that, sparkling like two twin- Should still incense me in the following born fires,

sign ; Whose looks benign, and shining sweets A sign, whose sight desires a gracious kiss,

And the red confines of thy tongue it is, May's youthful month with a more pleas- Where, hotter than before, mine eyes ing face ;

would shine. Justly the Twins'-sign hold in my de

XVI. sires. XI.

So glow those corals, nought but fire re

spiring, Scorch'd with the beams these sister-flames With smiles or words, or sighs her thoughts eject,

attiring ; The living sparks thereof, Earth shall effect;

Or, be it she a kiss divinely frameth ; The shock of our join'd fires the summer Or that her tongue shoots forward, and starting :

retires, The season by degrees shall change again, Doubling, like fervent Sirius, summer's The days their longest durance shall re- fires, tain ;

In Leo's month, which all the world The stars their amplest light and ardour enflameth. darting.


And now to bid the Boreal signs adieu, But now, I fear, that throned in such a I come to give thy virgin-cheeks the view shrine,

To temper all my fire, and tame my heat, Playing with objects, pleasant and divine, Which soon will feel itself extinct and dead, I should be moved to dwell there thirty In those fair courts with modesty dispread, days.

With holy, humble, and chaste thoughts O no, I could not in so little space

replete. With joy admire enough their plenteous

But ever live in sunshine of their rays.

The purple tinct thy marble cheeks retain,
The marble tinct thy purple cheeks doth


The lilies duly equall'd with thine eyes, Yet this should be in vain, my forced will The tinct that dyes the morn with deeper red My course design'd, begun, shall follow Shall hold my course a month if, as I dread, still ;

My fires to issue want not faculties. So forth I must, when forth this month is wore,

XIX. And of the neighbour signs be born anew, Which sign, perhaps, may stay me with the To balance now thy more obscured graces, view,

'Gainst them the circle of thy head enMore to conceive, and so desire the

chases Twice three months used, to run through

twice three houses XIV.

To render in this heaven my labour lasting, It is thy nose, stern to thy bark of love, I haste to see the rest, and with one hasting, Or which, pine-like, doth crown a flowery The dripping time shall fill the Earth





Which I can scarce express with chastity, Then by the neck myautumn I'll commence, And with the sudden thought my case takes

I know in heaven 'tis called Capricorn ; Thy neck, that merits place of excellence

horn, Such as this is, where with a certain sphere,

So, heaven-like, Capricorn the name

shall be. In balancing the darkness with the light,

XXVI. It might so weigh with scales of equal weight,

This, wondrous fit, the wintry solstice Thy beauties seen with those do not seazeth, appear.

Where darkness greater grows and day XXI.


Where rather I would be in night than Now past my month t'admire for built

day ; most pure

But when I see my journeys do increase, This marble pillar and her lineature,

I'll straight despatch me thence, and go in I come t' inhabit thy most gracious

peace teatsTeats that feed Love upon the whiterhiphees,

To my next house, where I may safer

stay. Teats where he hangs his glory and his

XXVII. trophies, When victor from the gods' war he re- This house alongst thy naked thighs is found, treats.

Naked ofspot; made fleshy, firm, and round, XXII.

To entertain love's friends with feeling

sport; Hid in the vale 'twixt these two hills con- These Cupid's secret mysteries enfold, fined,

And pillars are that Venus' fane uphold, This vale the nest of loves, and joys di- Of her dear joys the glory and support.

vined, Shall I enjoy mine ease; and fair be

XXVIII. pass'd

Sliding on thy smooth thighs to this month's Beneath these parching Alps; and this sweet cold

To thy well-fashion'd calves I will descend, Is first, this month, heaven doth to us unfold; That soon the last house I may apprehend, But there shall I still grieve to be dis- Thy slender feet, fine slender feet that placed.

shame XXIII.

Thetis' sheen feet, which poets so much fame; To sort from this most brave and pompous

And here my latest season I will end. sign,

L' ENVOY. Leaving a little my ecliptic line (Less superstitious than the other sun),

XXIX. The rest of my autumnal race I'll end

Dear mistress, if poor wishes heaven would To see thy hand, whence I the crown attend, Since in thy past parts I have slightly I would not choose the empire of the water;


The empire of the air, nor of the earth, XXIV.

But endlessly my course of life confining, Thy hand, a lily gender'd of a rose In this fair Zodiac for ever shining, That wakes the morning, hid in night's And with thy beauties make me endless repose :

mirth. And from Apollo's bed the veil doth twine,

XXX. That each where doth th' Idalian minion But gracious love, if jealous heaven deny guide

My life this truly-blest variety, That bends his bow; that ties, and leaves

Yet will I thee through all the world untied

disperse ; The silver ribands of his little ensign.

If not in heaven, amongst those braving fires,

Yet here thy beauties, which the world XXV.

admires, In fine, still drawing to th’ Antarctic pole, Bright as those flames shall glister in my The tropic sign I'll run at for my goal;




The Amorous Contention of Phillis

and Flora,

Translated out of a Latin Copy written by a Friar, Anno 1400.*

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* Ritson thinks that Chapman was mistaken both as to the author and as to the age of the original, which was certainly written in or before the 13th century, and probably by Walter de Mapes; a much purer version than he appears to have made use of being extant in a manuscript of that age in the Harleian Collection. No. 978, fo. 115.

Chapman's translation was republished in 1598 under the title of Phillis and Flora, the sweete & civill contention of two amorous Ladyes, translated out of Latine by R. S., Esquire.”. Chapman therefore, says Ritson, seems to have been most cavalierly treated by this respectable Esquire.

In the original edition Chapman has printed the Latin text (Certamen inter Phillidem Eu Floram) at the end of his own version.-ED.

Now did a gentle timely gale
A little whisper through the dale,
Where was a place of festival
With verdant grass adorned all :

And in that mead-proud-making grass,
A river like to liquid glass
Did with such soundful murmur pass,
That with the same it wanton was.


Hard by this brook, a pine had seat,
With goodly furniture complete,
To make the place in state more great,
And lessen the inflaming heat.

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XXV. " Who with like band our loves com

bineth? Even nature's law thereat repineth. My love in conquest's palm-wreaths

shineth, Thine feast deforms, mine fight refineth."

XXVI. Flora her modest face enrosed, Whose second smile more fair dis

closed : At length with moving voice she loosed What Art in her stored breast reposed.


XVIII. “ Brave soldier, Paris, my heart's seizure, In fight, or in his peaceful leisure : The soldier's life is life's chief treasure, Most worth the love-queen's household pleasure."

XIX. While she her war-friend did prefer, Flora look'd coy, and laugh'd at her, And did this adverse speech aver ; Thou might'st have said, I love a beggar.

XX. " But what doth Alcibiades, My love ? past all in worth's excess, Whom Nature doth with all gifts bless : O only clerks' lives, happiness !"

Phillis, thy fill of speech thou hast, Thy wit with pointed wings is graced, Yet urgest not a truth so vast That hemlocks lilies have surpass'd.

XXVIII. "Ease-loving clerks thou hold'st for

Servants to sleep and belly cheer :
So Envy honour would enphere,
But give me ear, I'll give thee answer,

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