Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


MONTANUS' PASSION

78

Hadst thou been born whereas perpetual cold
Makes Tanais hard and mountains silver old;
Had I complained unto a marble stone,
Or to the floods bewrayed my bitter moan,
I then could bear the burden of my grief.
But even the pride of countries at thy birth,
Whilst heavens did smile, did new array the earth
With flowers chief.
Yet thou, the flower of beauty blessèd born,
Hast pretty looks, but all attired in scorn.
Had I the power to weep sweet Myrrha's tears,
Or by my plaints to pierce repining ears;
Hadst thou the heart to smile at my complaint,
To scorn the woes that doth my heart attaint,
I then could bear the burden of my grief:
But not my tears, but truth with thee prevails,
And, seeming sour, my sorrows thee assails.
Yet small relief;
For, if thou wilt, thou art of marble hard,
And, if thou please, my suit shall soon be heard.

79"No doubt," quoth Aliena, "this poesy is the passion of some perplexed shepherd that, being enamored of some fair and beautiful shepherdess, suffered some sharp repulse, and therefore complained of the cruelty of his mistress."

80"You may see," quoth Ganymede, "what mad cattle you women be, whose hearts sometimes are made of adamant that will touch with no impression, and sometime of wax that is fit for every form; they delight to be courted, and then they glory to seem coy, and when they are most desired then they freeze with disdain. And this fault is so common to the sex that you see it painted out in the shepherd's passions, who found his mistress as froward as he was enamored."

81"And I pray you," quoth Aliena, "if your robes were off, what mettle are you made of that you are so satirical against women? Is it not a foul bird defiles the own nest? Beware, Ganymede, that Rosader hear you not. If he do, perchance you will make him leap so far from love that he will anger every vein in your heart."

82"Thus," quoth Ganymede, "I keep decorum: I speak now as I am Aliena's page, not as I am Gerismond's daughter. For, put me but into a petticoat and I will stand in defiance to the uttermost, that women are courteous, constant, virtuous, and whatnot."

83"Stay there," quoth Aliena, "and no more words, for yonder be characters graven upon the bark of the tall beech tree."

84"Let us see," quoth Ganymede; and with that they read a fancy written to this effect:

86First shall the heavens want starry light,
The seas be robbèd of their waves,
The day want sun, and sun want bright,
The night want shade, the dead men graves,
The April flowers and leaf and tree,
Before I false my faith to thee.

87First shall the tops of highest hills
By humble plains be overpried,
And poets scorn the Muses' quills,
And fish forsake the water glide,
And Iris lose her colored weed
Before I fail thee at thy need.

88First direful hate shall turn to peace,
And love relent in deep disdain,
And death his fatal stroke shall cease,
And envy pity every pain,
And pleasure mourn and sorrow smile,
Before I talk of any guile.

89First Time shall stay his stayless race,
And winter bless his brows with corn,
And snow bemoisten July's face,
And winter spring, and summer mourn,
Before my pen, by help of fame,
Cease to recite thy sacred name.

MONTANUS

90"No doubt," quoth Ganymede, "this protestation grew from one full of passions."

91"I am of that mind too," quoth Aliena, "but see, I pray, when poor women seek to keep themselves chaste, how men woo them with many feigned promises, alluring with sweet words as the Sirens and after proving as trothless as Aeneas. Thus promised Demophoon to his Phyllis; but who at last grew more false?"

92"The reason was," quoth Ganymede, "that they were women's sons, and took that fault of their mother, for if man had grown from man, as Adam did from the earth, men had never been troubled with inconstancy."

93"Leave off," quoth Aliena, "to taunt thus bitterly, or else I'll pull off your page's apparel, and whip you, as Venus doth her wantons, with nettles."

94"So you will," quoth Ganymede, "persuade me to flattery, and that needs not. But come, seeing we have found here by this fount the tract of shepherds by their madrigals and roundelays, let us forward; for either we shall find some folds, sheepcotes , or else some cottages wherein for a day or two to rest."

95"Content," quoth Aliena, and with that they rose up and marched forward till towards the even, and then, coming into a fair valley, compassed with mountains, whereon grew many pleasant shrubs, they might descry where two flocks of sheep did feed. Then, looking about, they might perceive where an old shepherd sat, and with him a young swain, under a covert most pleasantly situated. The ground where they sat was diapered with Flora's riches, as if she meant to wrap Tellus in the glory of her vestments. Round about in the form of an amphitheater were most curiously planted pine trees, interseamed with limons and citrons, which with the thickness of their boughs so shadowed the place that Phoebus could not pry into the secret of that arbor; so united were the tops with so thick a closure that Venus might there in her jollity have dallied unseen with her dearest paramour. Fast by, to make the place more gorgeous, was there a fount so crystalline and clear that it seemed Diana with her Dryades and Hamadryades had that spring as the secret of all their bathings. In this glorious arbor sat these two shepherds, seeing their sheep feed, playing on their pipes many pleasant tunes, and from music and melody falling into much amorous chat. Drawing more nigh, we might descry the countenance of the one to be full of sorrow, his face to be the very portraiture of discontent, and his eyes full of woes, that living he seemed to die. We, to hear what these were, stole privily behind the thicket, where we overheard this discourse: