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Because my mother Læda was beguild,
Must I stray too, that am her eldest child ?
I must confess my mother made a rape,
But Jove beguild her in a borrow'd shape :
When she (poor soul) nor dreamt of god nor man,
He trod her like a milk white feather'd swan,
She was deceiv'd by error; if I yield
To your unjust request, nothing can thield
Me from reproach ; I cannot plead concealing :
'Twas in her, error ; 'tis in me, plain dealing.
She happily eri'd; he that her honour spilt,
Had in himself full power to salve the guilt.
Her error happy'd me too (I confess)
If to be Jove's child, be a happiness.

T' omit high Jove, of whom I land in awe, As the great grandfire to our father-in-law; To pass the kin I claim from Tantalus, From Pelops, and from noble Tindarus ; Læda by Jove, in shape of swan, beguild, Herself so chang'd, and by him made with child, Proves Jove my father. Then you idly strive, Your name from gods and princes to derive. What need you of old Priam make relation, Laomedon, or your great Phrygian nation? Say all be

true ;

what then? He of whom most To be of your alliance, you so boast, Jove (five degrees at least) from you removed, To be the first from me, is plainly proved. And tho' (as I believ'd well) Troy may stand Powerful by sea, and full of strength by land ; And no dominion to your state superior, I hold our clime nothing to Troy inferior.

Say, you in riches pass us, or in number
Of people, whom you boast your streets to cumber;
Yet yours a barbarous nation is, I tell you,
And in that kind do we of Greece excel you!
Your rich epistle doth such gifts present,
As might the goddesses themselves content,
And woo them to your pleasure: but if I
Shall pass the bounds of shame, and tread awry;
If ever you should put me to my shifts,
Yourself should move me more than all your gifts.
Or if I ever shall transgress by stealth,
It shall be for your fake, not for your wealth.
But as your gifts I scorn not, so such seem
Most precious, where the giver we esteem.
More than your presents it shall Helen please,
That you for her have past the stormy feas;
That she hath caus’d your toil, that you respect her,
And more than all your Trojan dames affect her.

But you're a wag in troth, the notes and Gigns You make at table in the meats and wines, I have observ'd, when I least feem'd to mind them, For at the first my curious eye did find them. Sometimes (you wanton) your fix'd eye advances His brightness against mine, darting sweet glances Out-gazing me with such a stedfast look, That my daz'd eyes their splendor have forsook ; And then you figh, and by and by you stretch Your amorous arm outright, the bowl to reach, That next me stands, making excuse to sip Just in the self-fame place that kiss'd my lip. How oft have I observ'd your finger make Tricks and conceited signs, which strait I take ?

How often doth your brow your smooth thoughts cloke,
When, to my seeming, it hath almost spoke?
And still I fear’d my husband would have spy'd you;
In troth you are to blame, and I must chide

You are too manifest a lover (tush)
At such known signs I could not chufe but blush.
And to myself I oft was forc'd to say,
This man at nothing thames. Is this (I pray)
Ought save the truth? Oft-times upon the board
Where Helen was engraven, you the word
Amo have underwrit, in new-spilt wine:
(Good footh) at first I could not scan the line,
Nor understand your meaning. Now (oh! spite)
Myself am now taught so to read and write.
Should I offend, as in to me is strange,
These blandishments have power chaste thoughts to
Or if I could be mor'd to step astray, [change.
These would provoke me to lascivious play:
Besides, I must confess, you have a face
So admirable rare, so full of grace,
That it hath power to woo, and to make seizure
Of the most bright chaste beauties to your pleasure.
Yet had I rather stainless keep my fame,
Than to a stranger hazard my good name.
Make me your instance, and forbear the fair ;
Of that which most doth please you, make most spare.
The greatest virtues, of which wise men boast,
Is to abstain from that which plea feth most.
How many gallant youths (think you) desire
That which you covet, scorch'd with the self-fame fire?
Are all the world fools ? only Paris wife?
Or is there none, save you, have judging eyes?
No, no, you view. no more than others see,
But you are plainer and more bold with me.

You are more earnest to pursue your game ;
I yield you not more knowledge, but less thame.
I would to God that you had fail'd from Troy,
When my virginity and bed to enjoy,
A thousand gallant princely suiters came :
Had I beheld young Paris, I proclaim,
Of all those thousand I had made you chief,
And Spartan Menelaus, to his grief,
Should to my censure have subscribåd and yielded.
But now (alas !) your hopes are weakly builded;
You covet goods poffefs'd, pleasures foretasted ;
'Tardy you come, that should before have hafted;
What you desire, another elaims as due :
As I could with t'have been espous'd to you,
So let me tell you, since it is my fate,
I hold me happy in my present state.
Then cease, fair prince, an idle suit to move,
Seek not to harm her, whom you seem to love.
In my contented state let me be guided,
As both my states and fortunes have provided ;
Nor in so vain a quest your spirits toil,
To seek at my hands an unworth.y spoil.

But see how soon poor women are deluded, Venus herself this covenant hath concluded: For in the Idean, vallies you espy Three goddesses, ftrip'd naked to your eye ; And when the first had promis'd you a crown, The second fortitude and war's renown; The third bespake you thus; crown, nor war's pride, Will I bequeath, but Helen to thy bride. I scarce believe those high immortal creatures Would to your eye expose their naked features...

Or fay, the first part of your tale be pure,
And meet with truth, the second's false I'm sure ;
In which poor l vas thought the greatest meed,
In such a high cause by the gods decreed.
I have not of my beauty such opinion,
T'imagine it prefer'l before dominion,
Or fortitude; nor can your words persuade me,
The greatest gift of all the goddess made me.
It is enough to me men praise my face,
But from the gods I merit no such grace :
Nor doth the praise, you charge me with, offend me,
If Venus do not enviously commend me.
But, lo! I grant you, and imagine true
Your free report, claiming your praise as due ?
Who would in pleasing things call fame a lyar,
But give that credit which we most desire ?

That we have mov’dthese doubts, be not you griev’d, The greatest wonders are the least believ'd : Know then, I first am pleas'd that Venus ought me Such undeserved grace ; next that you thought me The greatest meed. Nor scepter, nor war's fame, Did you prefer before poor Helen's name. (Hard heart!'tis time thou Mouldst at last come down) Therefore I am your valour, I your crown). Your kindness conquers me, do what I call ; I were hard b-arted nut to love this man. Obdurate I was never, and yet coy To favour hin whom I can ne'er enjoy. Wat profits it the barren fands to plough, And in the furrows our affections fow ? In the sweet theit of Venus Iam rude, And know not how my husband to delude.

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