The Fate of the Butterflie.
Singsing of deadly dolorous debate,
Stir’d vpup through wrathfull Nemesis despight,
Betwixt two mightie ones of great estate,
Drawne into armes, and proofe of mortall fight,
Through prowd ambition, and hartswelling hate,
Whilest neither could the others greater might
And sdeignfull scorne endure; that from small iarrejarre
Their wraths at length broke into open warre.
The roote whereof and tragicall effect,
Vouchsafe, O thou the mournfulst Muse of nyne,
That wontst the tragick stage for to direct,
In funerall complaints and waylfull tyne,
ReuealeReveale to me, and all the meanes detect,
Through which sad Clarion did at last declyne
To lowest wretchednes; And is there then
Such rancour in the harts of mightie men?
Of all the race of siluer-wingedsilver-winged Flies
Which doo possesse the Empire of the aire,
Betwixt the centred earth, and azure skies,
Was none more fauourablefavourable, nor more faire,
Whilst heauenheaven did fauourfavour his felicities,
Then Clarion, the eldest sonne and haire
Of Muscaroll, and in his fathers sight
Of all aliuealive did seeme the fairest wight.
With fruitfull hope his aged breast he fed
Of future good, which his yong toward yeares,
Full of brauebrave courage and bold hardyhed,
AboueAbove th’ensample of his equall peares,
Did largely promise, and to him forered
(Whilst oft his heart did melt in tender teares)
That he in time would sure proueprove such an one,
As should be worthie of his fathers throne.
The fresh yong flie, in whom the kindly fire
Of lustfull yonght began to kindle fast,
Did much disdaine to subiectsubject his desire
To loathsome sloth, or houres in ease to wast,
But ioy’djoy’d to range abroad in fresh attire;
Through the wide compas of the ayrie coast,
And with vnweariedunwearied wings each part t’inquire
Of the wide rule of his renowmed sire.
For he so swift and nimble was of flight,
That from this lower tract he dar’d to stie
VpUp to the clowdes, and thence with pineons light,
To mount aloft vntounto the Christall skie,
To vew the workmanship of heauensheavens hight:
Whence downe descending he along would flie
VponUpon the streaming riuersrivers, sport to finde;
And oft would dare to tempt the troublous winde.
So on a Summers day, when season milde
With gentle calme the world had quieted,
And high in heauenheaven
Hyperions fierie childe
Ascending, did his beames abroad dispred,
Whiles all the heauensheavens on lower creatures smilde;
Yong Clarion with vauntfull lustie head,
After his guize did cast abroad to fare;
And theretoo gan his furnitures prepare.
His breastplate first, that was of substance pure,
Before his noble heart he firmely bound,
That mought his life from yron death assure,
And ward his gentle corpes from cruell wound:
For it by arte was framed, to endure
The bit of balefull steele and bitter stownd,
No lesse than that, which Vulcane made to sheild
Achilles life from fate of Troyan field.
And then about his shoulders broad he threw
An hairie hide of some wilde beast, whom hee
In saluagesalvage forrest by aduentureadventure slew,
And rest the spoyle his ornament to bee:
Which spredding all his backe with dreadfull vew,
Made all that him so horrible did see,
Thinke him Alcides with the Lyons skin,
When the Næmean Conquest he did win.
VponUpon his head his glistering Burganet,
The which was wrought by wonderous deuicedevice,
And curiously engrauenengraven, he did set:
The mettall was of rare and passing price;
Not Bilbo steele, nor brasse from Corinth fet,
Nor costly Oricalche from strange Phœnice;
But such as could both Phœbus arrowes ward,
And th’hayling darts of heauenheaven beating hard.
Therein two deadly weapons fixt he bore,
Strongly outlaunced towards either side,
Like two sharpe speares, his enemies to gore:
Like as a warlike Brigandine, applyde
To fight, layes forth her threatfull pikes afore,
The engines which in them sad death doo hyde:
So did this flie outstretch his fearefull hornes,
Yet so as him their terrour more adornes.
Lastly his shinie wings as siluersilver bright,
Painted with thousand colours, passing farre
All Painters skill, he did about him dight:
Not halfe so manie sundrie colours arre
In Iris bowe, ne heauenheaven doth shine so bright,
Distinguished with manie a twinckling starre,
Bird in her ey-spotted traine
So manie goodly colours doth containe.
Ne (may it be withouten perill spoken)
The Archer God, the sonne of Cytheree,
That ioyesjoyes on wretched louerslovers to be wroken,
And heaped spoyles of bleeding harts to see,
Beares in his wings so manie a changefull token.
Ah my liege Lord, forgiueforgive it vntounto mee,
If ought against thine honour I hauehave tolde;
Yet sure those wings were fairer manifolde.
Full manie a Ladie faire, in Court full oft
Beholding them, him secretly enuideenvide,
And wisht that two such fannes, so silken soft,
And golden faire, her LoueLove would her prouideprovide;
Or that when them the gorgeous Flie had doft,
Some one that would with grace be gratifide,
From him would steale them priuilyprivily away,
And bring to her so precious a pray.
Report is that dame Venus on a day,
In spring whẽwhen flowres doo clothe the fruitful groũdground,
Walking abroad with all her Nymphes to play,
Bad her faire damzels flocking her arownd,
To gather flowres, her forhead to array:
Emongst the rest a gentle Nymph was found,
Hight Astery, excelling all the crewe
In curteous vsageusage, and vnstainedunstained hewe.
Who being nimbler ioyntedjoynted than the rest,
And more industrious, gathered more store
Of the fields honour, than the others best;
Which they in secret harts enuyingenvying sore,
Tolde Venus, when her as the worthiest
She praisd’, that Cupide (as they heard before)
Did lend her secret aide, in gathering
Into her lap the children of the spring.
Whereof the Goddesse gathering iealousjealous feare,
Not yet vnmindfullunmindfull, how not long agoe
Her sonne to Psyche secrete louelove did beare,
And long it close conceal’d, till mickle woe
Thereof arose, and manie a rufull teare;
Reason with sudden rage did ouergoeovergoe,
And giuinggiving hastie credit to th’accuser,
Was led away of them that did abuse her.
Eftsoones that Damzel by her heauenlyheavenly might,
She turn’d into a winged Butterflie,
In the wide aire to make her wandring flight;
And all those flowres, with which so plenteouslie
Her lap she filled had, that bred her spight,
She placed in her wings, for memorie
Of her pretended crime, though crime none were:
Since which that flie them in her wings doth beare.
Thus the fresh Clarion being readie dight,
VntoUnto his iourneyjourney did himselfe addresse,
And with good speed began to take his flight:
OuerOver the fields in his franke lustinesse,
And all the champion he soared light,
And all the countrey wide he did possesse,
Feeding vponupon their pleasures bounteouslie,
That none gainsaid, nor none did him enuieenvie.
The woods, the riuersrivers, and the medowes green,
With his aire-cutting wings he measured wide,
Ne did he leaueleave the mountaines bare vnseeneunseene,
Nor the ranke grassie fennes delights vntrideuntride.
But none of these, how euerever sweete they beene,
Mote please his fancie, nor him cause t’abide:
His choicefull sense with euerieeverie change doth flit.
No common things may please a waueringwavering wit.
To the gay gardins his vnstaidunstaid desire
Him wholly caried, to refresh his sprights:
There lauishlavish Nature in her best attire,
Powres forth sweete odors, and alluring sights;
And Arte with her contending, doth aspire
T’excell the naturall, with made delights:
And all that faire or pleasant may be found,
In riotous excesse doth there abound.
There he arriuingarriving, round about doth flie,
From bed to bed, from one to other border,
And takes surueysurvey with curious busie eye,
Of euerieeverie flowre and herbe there set in order;
Now this, now that he tasteth tenderly,
Yet none of them he rudely doth disorder,
Ne with his feete their silken leauesleaves deface;
But pastures on the pleasures of each place.
And euermoreevermore with most varietie,
And change of sweetnesse (for all change is sweete)
He casts his glutton sense to satisfie,
Now sucking of the sap of herbe most meete,
Or of the deaw, which yet on them does lie,
Now in the same bathing his tender feete:
And then he pearcheth on some braunch thereby,
To weather him, and his moyst wings to dry.
And then againe he turneth to his play,
To spoyle the pleasures of that Paradise:
The wholsome Saulge, and LauenderLavender still gray,
Ranke smelling Rue, and Cummin good for eyes,
The Roses raigning in the pride of May,
Sharpe Isope, good for greene wounds remedies,
Faire Marigoldes, and Bees alluring Thime,
Sweete MarioramMarjoram, and Daysies decking prime.
Coole Violets, and Orpine growing still,
Embathed Balme, and chearfull Galingale,
Fresh Costmarie, and breathfull Camomill,
Dull Poppie, and drink-quickning Setuale,
Veyne-healing VeruenVerven, and hed-purging Dill,
Sound SauorieSavorie, and Bazill hartie-hale,
Fat Colworts, and comforting Perseline,
Colde Lettuce, and refreshing Rosmarine.
And whatso else of vertue good or ill
Grewe in this Gardin, fetcht from farre away,
Of euerieeverie one he takes, and tastes at will,
And on their pleasures greedily doth pray.
Then when he hath both plaid, and fed his fill,
In the warme Sunne he doth himselfe embay,
And there him rests in riotous suffisaunce
Of all his gladfulnes, and kingly ioyauncejoyaunce.
What more felicitie can fall to creature,
Than to enioyenjoy delight with libertie,
And to be Lord of all the workes of Nature,
To raine in th’aire from earth to highest skie,
To feed on flowres, and weeds of glorious feature,
To take what euerever thing doth please the eie?
Who rests not pleased with such happines,
Well worthie he to taste of wretchednes.
But what on earth can long abide in state?
Or who can him assure of happie day;
Sith morning faire may bring fowle eueningevening late,
And least mishap the most blisse alter may?
For thousand perills lie in close awaite
About vsus daylie, to worke our decay;
That none, except a God, or God him guide,
May them auoydeavoyde, or remedie prouideprovide.
And whatso heauensheavens in their secret doome
Ordained hauehave, how can fraile fleshly wight
Forecast, but it must needs to issue come?
The sea, the aire, the fire, the day, the night,
And th’armies of their creatures all and some
Do serueserve to them, and with importune might
Warre against vsus the vassals of their will.
Who then can sauesave, what they dispose to spill?
Not thou, O Clarion, though fairest thou
Of all thy kinde, vnhappieunhappie happie Flie,
Whose cruell fate is wouenwoven
owne hand, to worke thy miserie:
Ne may thee helpe the manie hartie vow,
Which thy olde Sire with sacred pietie
Hath powred forth for thee, and th’altars sprent:
Nought may thee sauesave from heauensheavens
It fortuned (as heauensheavens had behight)
That in this gardin, where yong Clarion
Was wont to solace him, a wicked wight
The foe of faire things, th’author of confusion,
The shame of Nature, the bondslauebondslave of spight,
Had lately built his hatefull mansion,
And lurking closely, in a wayte now lay.
How he might anie in his trap betray.
But when he spide the ioyousjoyous Butterflie
In this faire plot dispacing too and fro,
Fearles of foes and hidden ieopardiejeopardie,
Lord how he gan for to bestirre him tho,
And to his wicked worke each part applie:
His heart did earne against his hated foe,
And bowels so with ranckling poyson swelde,
That scarce the skin the strong contagion helde.
The cause why he this Flie so maliced,
Was (as in stories it is written found)
For that his mother which him bore and bred,
The most fine fingred workwoman on ground,
Arachne, by his meanes was vanquished
Of Pallas, and in her owne skill confound,
When she with her for excellence contended,
That wrought her shame, and sorrow neuernever ended.
For the Tritonian Goddesse hauinghaving hard
Her blazed fame, which all the world had fil’d,
Came downe to proueprove the truth, and due reward
For her prais-worthie workmanship to yeild
But the presumptuous Damzel rashly dar’d
The Goddesse selfe to chalenge to the field,
And to compare with her in curious skill
Of workes with loome, with needle, and with quill.
did the chalenge not refuse,
But deign’d with her the paragon to make:
So to their worke they sit, and each doth chuse
What storie she will for her tapet take.
Arachne figur’d how
Europa like a Bull, and on his backe
Her through the sea did beare; so liuelylively seene,
That it true Sea, and true Bull ye would weene.
She seem’d still backe vntounto the land to looke,
And her play-fellowes aide to call, and feare
The dashing of the waueswaves, that vpup she tooke
Her daintie feete, and garments gathered neare:
But (Lord) how she in euerieeverie member shooke,
When as the land she saw no more appeare,
But a wilde wildernes of waters deepe:
Then gan she greatly to lament and weepe.
Before the Bull she pictur’d winged LoueLove,
With his yong brother Sport, light fluttering
VponUpon the waueswaves, as each had been a DoueDove;
The one his bowe and shafts, the other Spring
A burning Teade about his head did mouemove,
As in their Syres new louelove both triumphing:
And manie Nymphes about them flocking round,
And manie Tritons, which their hornes did sound.
And round about, her worke she did empale
With a faire border wrought of sundrie flowres,
EnwouenEnwoven with an YuieYvie winding trayle:
A goodly worke, full fit for Kingly bowres,
Such as Dame Pallas, such as EnuieEnvie
That al good things with venemous tooth deuowresdevowres,
Could not accuse. Then gan the Goddesse bright
Her selfe likewise vntounto her worke to dight.
She made the storie of the olde debate,
Which she with Neptune did for Athens trie:
TwelueTwelve Gods doo sit around in royall state,
in midst with awfull MaiestieMajestie,
To iudgejudge the strife betweene them stirred late:
Each of the Gods by his like visnomie
Eathe to be knowen; but
aboueabove them all,
By his great lookes and power Imperiall.
Before them stands the God of Seas in place,
Clayming that sea-coast Citie as his right,
And strikes the rockes with his three-forked mace;
Whenceforth issues a warlike steed in sight,
The signe by which he chalengeth the place,
That all the Gods, which saw his wondrous might
Did surely deeme the victorie his due:
But seldome seene, foreiudgementforejudgement
Then to her selfe she giuesgives her Aegide shield,
And steelhed speare, and morion on her hedd,
Such as she oft is seene in warlicke field:
Then sets she forth, how with her weapon dredd
She smote the ground, the which streight foorth did yield
A fruitfull OlyueOlyvetree, with berries spredd,
That all the Gods admir’d; then all the storie
She compast with a wreathe of OlyuesOlyveshoarie.
Emongst those leauesleaves she made a Butterflie,
With excellent deuicedevice and wondrous slight,
Fluttring among the OliuesOlives wantonly,
That seem’d to liuelive, so like it was in sight:
The veluetvelvet nap which on his wings doth lie,
The silken downe with which his backe is dight,
His broad outstretched hornes, his hayrie thies,
His glorious colours, and his glistering eies.
Which when Arachne saw, as ouerlaidoverlaid,
And mastered with workmanship so rare,
She stood astonied long, ne ought gainesaid,
And with fast fixed eyes on her did stare,
And by her silence, signe of one dismaid,
The victorie did yeeld her as her share:
Yet did she inly fret, and felly burne,
And all her blood to poysonous rancor turne.
That shortly from the shape of womanhed
Such as she was, when Pallas she attempted,
She grew to hideous shape of dryrihed,
Pined with griefe of follie late repented:
Eftsoones her white streight legs were altered
To crooked crawling shankes, of marrowe empted,
And her faire face to fowle and loathsome hewe,
And her fine corpes to a bag of venim grewe.
This cursed creature, mindfull of that olde
Enfestred grudge, the which his mother felt,
So soone as Clarion he did beholde,
His heart with vengefull malice inly swelt;
And weauingweaving straight a net with manie a folde
About the cauecave, in which he lurking dwelt,
With fine small cords about it stretched wide,
So finely sponne, that scarce they could be spide.
Not anie damzell, which her vaunteth most
In skilfull knitting of soft silken twyne;
Nor anie weauerweaver, which his worke doth boast
In dieper, in damaske, or in lyne;
Nor anie skil’d in workmanship embost;
Nor anie skil’d in loupes of fingring fine,
Might in their diuersdivers cunning euerever dare,
With this so curious networke to compare.
Ne doo I thinke, that that same subtil gin,
The which the Lemnian God did slily frame,
Mars sleeping with his wife to compasse in,
That all the Gods with common mockerie
Might laugh at them, and scorne their shamefull sin,
Was like to this. This same he did applie,
For to entrap the careles Clarion,
That rang’d each where without suspition.
Suspition of friend, nor feare of foe,
That hazarded his health, had he at all,
But walkt at will, and wandred too and fro,
In the pride of his freedome principall:
Litle wist he his fatall future woe,
But was secure, the liker he to fall.
He likest is to fall into mischaunce,
That is regardles of his gouernauncegovernaunce.
Yet still Aragnoll (so his foe was hight)
Lay lurking couertlycovertly him to surprise,
And all his gins that him entangle might,
Drest in good order as he could deuisedevise.
At length the foolish Flie without foresight,
As he that did all daunger quite despise,
Toward thoss parts came flying careleslie,
Where hidden was his hatefull enemie.
Who seeing him, with secrete ioyjoy therefore
Did tickle inwardly in euerieeverie vaine,
And his false hart fraught with all treasons store,
Was fil’d with hope, his purpose to obtaine:
Himselfe he close vpgatheredupgathered more and more
Into his den, that his deceiptfull traine
By his there being might not be bewraid,
Ne anie noyse, ne anie motion made.
Like as a wily Foxe, that hauinghaving spide,
Where on a sunnie banke the Lambes doo play,
Full closely creeping by the hinder side,
Lyes in ambushment of his hoped pray,
Ne stirreth limbe, till seeing readie tide,
He rusheth forth, and snatcheth quite away
One of the litle yonglings vnawaresunawares:
So to his worke Aragnoll him prepares.
Who now shall giuegive
vntounto my heauieheavie eyes
A well of teares, that all may ouerflowoverflow?
Or where shall I finde lamentable cryes,
And mournfull tunes enough my griefe to show?
Helpe O thou Tragick Muse, me to deuisedevise
Notes sad enough, t’expresse this bitter throw:
For loe, the drerie stownd is now arriuedarrived,
That of all happines hath vsus
The luckles Clarion, whether cruell Fate,
Or wicked Fortune faultles him misled,
Or some vngraciousungracious blast out of the gate
Of Aeoles raine perforce him drouedrove on hed,
Was (O sad hap and howre vnfortunateunfortunate)
With violent swift flight forth caried
Into the cursed cobweb, which his foe
Had framed for his finall ouerthroeoverthroe.
There the fond Flie entangled, strugled long,
Himselfe to free thereout; but all in vaine.
For striuingstriving more, the more in laces strong
Himselfe he tide, and wrapt his winges twaine
In lymie snares the subtill loupes among;
That in the ende he breathelesse did remaine,
And all his yougthly forces idly spent,
Him to the mercie of th’auengerth’avengerlent.
Which when the greisly tyrant did espie,
Like a grimme Lyon rushing with fierce might
Out of his den, he seized greedelie
On the resistles pray, and with fell spight,
VnderUnder the left wing stroke his weapon slie
Into his heart, that his deepe groning spright
In bloodie streames foorth fled into the aire,
His bodie left the spectacle of care.