After the ouerthrowe of Brutus and Caſsius, the libertie of Rome being now vtterly oppreſſed, and the Empire ſetled in the hands of Octauius Cæſar and Marcus Antonius, (who for knitting a ſtraiter bonde of amitie betweene them, had taken to wife Octauia the ſiſter of Cæſar) Antonius vndertooke a iourney againſt the Parthians, with intent to regaine on them the honor wonne by them from the Romains, at the diſcomfiture and ſlaughter of Craſſus. But comming in his iourney into Siria, the places renewed in his remembrance the long intermitted loue of Cleopatra Queene of Aegipt: who before time had both in Cilicia and at Alexandria, entertained him with all the exquiſite delightes and ſumptuous pleaſures, which a great Prince and voluptuous Louer could to the vttermoſt deſire. Whereupon omitting his enterprice, he made his returne to Alexandria, againe falling to his former loues, without any regard of his vertuous wife Octauia, by whom neuertheles he had excellent Children. This occaſion Octauius tooke of taking armes againſt him: and preparing a mighty fleet, encountred him at Actium, who alſo had aſſembled to that place a great number of Gallies of his own, beſides 60. which Cleopatra brought with her from Aegipt. But at the very beginning of the battell Cleopatra with all her Gallies betooke her to flight, which Antony ſeeing could not but follow; by his departure leauing to Octauius the greateſt victorye F. which 040F1v which in any Sea Battell hath beene heard off. Which he not negligent to purſue, followes them the next ſpring, and beſiedgeth them within Alexandria, where Antony finding all that he truſted to faile him, beginneth to growe iealouſe and to ſuſpect Cleopatra. She thereupon encloſed her ſelfe with two of her women in a monument ſhe had before cauſed to be built, thence ſends him woord ſhe was dead: which he beleeuing for truth, gaue himſelfe with his Swoord a deadly wound: but died not vntill a meſſenger came from Cleopatra to haue him brought to her to the tombe. Which ſhe not daring to open leaſt ſhe ſhould be made a priſoner to the Romaines, and carried in Cæſars triumph, caſt downe a corde from an high window, by the which (her women helping her) ſhe truſſed vp Antonius halfe dead, and ſo got him into the monument. The Stage ſuppoſed Alexandria: the Chorus, firſt Egiptians, and after Romane Souldiors. The Hiſtorie to be read at large in Plutarch in the life of Antonius.
Philoſtratus a Philoſopher.
Diomede Secretary to Cleopatra.
Euphron, teacher of Cleopatras children.
Children of Cleopatra.
Dircetus the Meſſenger.
Since cruell Heau’ns
againſt me obſtinate,
Since all miſhappes
of the round engin doo
Conſpire my harme:
ſince men, ſince powers diuine,
Aire, earth, and Sea
are all iniurious:
And that my Queene her ſelf, in whome I liu’d,
The Idoll of my hart, doth me purſue;
It’s meete I dye. For her haue I forgone
My Country, Caæſar vnto warre prouok’d
(For iuſt reuenge of Siſters wrong my wife,
Who mou’de my Queene (ay me!) to iealouſie)
For loue of her, in her allurements caught
Abandon’d life, I honor haue deſpiſde,
Diſdain’d my freends, and of the ſtatelye Rome
Deſpoilde the Empire of her beſt attire,
Contemn’d that power that made me ſo much fear’d,
A ſlaue become vnto her feeble face.
O cruell, traitres, woman moſt vnkinde,
Thou doſt, forſworne, my loue and life betraie:
And giu’ſt me vp to ragefull enemie,
Which ſoone (ô foole!) will plague thy periurye.
Yelded Peluſium on this Countries ſhore,
Yelded thou haſt my Shippes and men of warre,
That nought remaines (ſo deſtitute am I)
But theſe ſame armes which on my back I weare.
Thou ſhould’ſt haue had them too, and me vnarm’de
Yeelded to Cæſar naked of defence.
Which while I beare let Cæſar neuer thinke
Triumph of me ſhall his proud chariot grace
Not think with me his glory to adorne,
On me aliue to vſe his victorie.
Thou only Cleopatra triumph haſt,
Thou only haſt my freedome ſeruile made,
Thou only haſt me vanquiſht: not by force
(For forſte I cannot be) but by ſweete baites
Of thy eyes graces, which did gaine ſo faſt
vpon my libertie, that nought remain’d.
None els hencefoorth, but thou my deareſt Queene,
Shall glorie in commaunding Antonie.
Haue Cæſar fortune and the Gods his freends,
To him haue Ioue and fatall ſiſters giuen
The Scepter of the earth: he neuer ſhall
Subiect my life to his obedience.
But when that Death, my glad refuge, ſhall haue
Bounded the courſe of my unſtedfaſt life,
And froſen corps vnder a marble colde
Within tombes boſome widdowe of my ſoule:
Then at his will let him it ſubiect make:
Then what he will let Cæſar doo with me:
Make me limme after limme be rent: make me
My buriall take in ſides of Thracian wolfe.
Poore Antonie! alas what was the day,The 043 F3r
The daies of loſſe that gained thee thy loue!
Wretch Antony! ſince then Mægæra pale
With Snakie haires enchain’d thy miſerie.
The fire thee burnt was neuer Cupids fire
(For Cupid beares not ſuch a mortall brand)
It was ſome furies torch, Oreſtes torche,
which ſometimes burnt his mother-murdering ſoule
(When wandring madde, rage boiling in his bloud,
He fled his fault which folow’d as he fled)
kindled within his bones by ſhadow pale
Of mother ſlaine return’d from Stygian lake.
Antony, poore Antony! ſince that daie
Thy olde good hap did farre from thee retire.
Thy vertue dead: thy glory made aliue
So ofte by martiall deeds is gone in ſmoke:
Since then the Baies ſo well thy forehead knewe
To Venus mirtles yeelded haue their place:
Trumpets to pipes: field tents to courtly bowers:
Launces and Pikes to daunces and to feaſtes.
Since then, ô wretch! in ſtead of bloudy warres
Thou ſhouldſt haue made vpon the Parthian Kings
For Romain honor filde by Craſſus foile,
Thou threw’ſt thy Curiace off, and fearfull healme,
With coward courage vnto Ægipts Queene
In haſte to runne, about her necke to hang
Languiſhing in her armes thy Idoll made:
In ſumme giuen vp to Cleopatras eies.
Thou breakeſt at length from thence, as one encharm’d
Breakes from th’enchaunter that him ſtrongly helde.
For thy firſt reaſon (ſpoyling of their force
the poiſned cuppes of thy faire Sorceres)Recur’d 044 F3v
Recur’d thy ſprite: and then on euery ſide
Thou mad’ſt againe the earth with Souldiours ſwarme.
All Aſia hidde: Euphrates bankes do tremble
To ſee at once ſo many Komanes there
Breath horror, rage, and with a threatning eye
In mighty ſquadrons croſſe his ſwelling ſtreames.
Nought ſeene but horſe, and fier ſparkling armes:
Nought heard but hideous noiſe of muttring troupes.
The Parth, the Mede, abandoning their goods
Hide them for feare in hilles of Hircanie,
Redoubting thee. Then willing to beſiege
The great Phraate head of Media,
Thou campedſt at her walles with vaine aſſault,
Thy engins ſit (miſhap!) not thither brought.
So long thou ſtai’ſt, ſo long thou dooſt thee reſt,
So long thy loue with ſuch things nouriſhed
Reframes, reformes it ſelfe and ſtealingly
Retakes his force and rebecomes more great.
For of thy Queene the lookes, the grace, the woords,
Sweetenes, alurements, amorous delights,
Entred againe thy ſoule, and day and night,
In watch, in ſleepe, her Image follow’d thee:
Not dreaming but of her, repenting ſtill
That thou for warre hadſt ſuch a Goddes left.
Thou car’ſt no more for Parth, nor Parthian bow,
Sallies, aſſaults, encounters, ſhocks, alarmes,
For diches, rampiers, wards, entrenched grounds:
Thy only care is ſight of Nilus ſtreames,
Sight of that face whoſe guilefull ſemblant doth
(Wandring in thee) infect thy tainted hart.
Her abſence thee beſottes: each hower, each howerof 045 F4r
Of ſtaie, to thee impatient ſeemes an age.
Enough of conqueſt, praiſe thou deem’ſt enough,
If ſoone enough the briſtled fieldes thou ſee
Of fruitfull Ægipt, and the ſtranger floud
Thy Queenes faire eyes (another Pharos) lights.
Returned loe, diſhonoured, deſpiſde,
In wanton loue a woman thee miſleades
Sunke in foule ſinke: meane while reſpecting nought
Thy wife Octauia and her tender babes,
Of whom the long contempt againſt thee whets
The ſword of Cæſar now thy Lord become.
Loſt thy great Empire, all thoſe goodly townes
Reuerenc’d thy name as rebells now thee leaue:
Riſe againſt thee, and to the enſignes flocke
Of conqu’ring Cæſar, who enwalles thee round
Cag’d in thy holde, ſcarſe maiſter of thy ſelfe,
Late maiſter of ſo many nations.
Yet, yet, which is of grief extreameſt grief,
Which is yet of miſchiefe higheſt miſchiefe,
It’s Cleopatra alas! alas, it’s ſhe,
It’s ſhe augments the torment of thy paine,
Betraies thy loue, thy life alas!) betraies,
Cæſar to pleaſe, whoſe grace ſhe ſeekes to gaine:
With thought her Crowne to ſaue, and fortune make
Onely thy foe which common ought haue beene.
If her I alwaies lou’d, and the firſt flame
Of her heart-killing loue ſhall burne me laſt:
Iuſtly complaine I ſhe diſloyall is,
Nor conſtant is, euen as I conſtant am,
To comfort my miſhap, deſpiſing me
No more, then when the heauens fauour’d me.
But ah! by nature women wau’ring are,
Each moment changing and rechanging mindes.
Vnwiſe, who blinde in them, thinkes loyaltie
Euer to finde in beauties company.
The boyling tempeſt ſtill
Makes not Sea waters fome:
Nor ſtill the Northern blaſt
Diſquiets quiet ſtreames:
Nor who his cheſt to fill
Sayles to the morning beames,
On waues winde toſſeth faſt
Still kepes his Ship from home.
Nor Ioue still downe doth caſt
Inflam’d with bloudie ire
On man, on tree, on hill,
His darts of thundring fire:
Nor ſtill the heat doth last
On face of parched plaine:
Nor wrinkled colde doth ſtill
On frozen furrowes raigne.
But ſtill as long as we
In this low world remaine,
Miſhapps our dayly mates
Our liues do entertaine:
And woes which beare no dates
Still pearch vpon our heads,
None go, but ſtreight will be
Some greater in their Steads.
Nature made vs not free
When firſt ſhe made vs liue:
When we began to be,
To be began our woe:
Which growing euermore
As dying life doth groowe,
Do more and more vs greeue,
And tire vs more and more.
No ſtay in fading ſtates,
For more to height they retch,
Their fellow miſeries
The more to height do ſtretch.
They clinge euen to the crowne,
And threatning furious wiſe
From tirannizing pates
Do often pull it downe.
In vaine on waues vntride
to ſhunne them go we ſhould
To Scythes and Maſſagetes
Who neare the Pole reſide:
In vaine to boiling ſandes
Which Phæbus battry beates,
For with vs ſtill they would
Cut ſeas and compaſſe landes.
The darknes no more ſure
To ioyne with heauy night:
The light which guildes the dayes
To follow Titan pure:
No more the ſhadow light
The body to enſue:
Then wretchednes alwaiesG. Vs 048 G1v
Vs wretches to purſue.
O bleſt who neuer breath’d,
Or whome with pittie mou’de,
Death from his cradle reau’de,
And ſwadled in his graue:
And bleſſed alſo he
)(As curſe may bleſsing haue)
Who low and liuing free
No princes charge hath prou’de.
By ſtealing ſacred fire
Prometheus then vnwiſe,
Prouoking Gods to ire,
The heape of ills did ſturre,
And ſicknes pale and colde
Our ende which onward ſpurre,
To plague our hands too bolde
To filch the wealth of Skies.
In heauens hate ſince then
Of ill with ill enchain’d
We race of mortall men
full fraught our breaſts haue borne:
And thouſand thouſand woes
Our heau’nly ſoules now thorne,
Which free before from thoſe
No! earthly paſsion pain’d.
Warre and warres bitter cheare
Now long time with vs ſtaie,
And feare of hated foe
Still still encreaſeth ſore:
Our harmes worſe dayly growe,
Leſſe yeſter daye they wereThen 049 G2r
Then now, and will be more
To morowe then to daye.
What horrible furie, what cruell rage,
O Ægipt ſo extremely thee torments?
Haſt thou the Gods ſo angred by thy fault?
Haſt thou againſt them ſome ſuch crime conceiu’d,
That their engrained hand lift vp in threats
They ſhould deſire in thy hart bloud to bathe?
And that their burning wrath which nought can quench
Should pittiles on vs ſtill lighten downe?
We are not hew’n out of the monſt’rous maſſe
of Giantes thoſe, which heauens wrack conſpir’d:
Ixions race, falſe prater of his loues:
Nor yet of him who fained lightnings found:
Nor cruell Tantalus, nor bloudie Atreus,
Whoſe curſed banquet for Theyeſtes plague
Made the beholding Sunne for horrour turne
His backe, and backward from his courſe returne:
And haſtning his wing-footed horſes race
Plunge him in ſea for ſhame to hide his face:
While ſulleine night vpon the wondring world
For mid-daies light her ſtarrie mantle caſt,.
But what we be, what euer wickednes
By vs is done, Alas! with what more plagues,
More eager torments could the Gods declare
To heauen and earth that vs they hatefull holde?G2 With 050 G2v
With Souldiors, ſtrangers, horrible in armes
Our land is hidde, our people drown’d in teares.
But terror here and horror, nought is ſeene:
And preſent death prizing our life each hower.
Hard at our ports and at our porches waites
Our conquering foe: harts faile vs, hopes are dead:
Our Queene laments: and this great Emperour
Sometime (would now they did) whom worlds did feare,
Abandoned, betraid, now mindes no more
But from his euils by haſt’ned death to paſſe.
Come you poore people tir’de with ceaſles plaints
With teares and ſighes make mournfull ſacrifice
On Iſis altars: not our ſelues to ſaue,
But ſoften Cæſar and him piteous make
To vs, his pray: that ſo his lenitie
May change our death into captiuitie.
Strange are the euils the fates on vs haue brought,
O but alas! how farre more ſtrange the cauſe!
Loue, loue (alas, who euer would have thought?)
Hath loſt this Realme inflamed with his fire.
Loue, playing loue, which men ſay kindles not
But in ſoft harts, hath aſhes made our townes.
And his ſweet ſhafts, with whoſe ſhot none are kill’d,
Which vlcer not, with deaths our lands haue fill’d,.
Such was the bloudie, murdring, helliſh loue
Poſſeſt thy hart faire falſe gueſt Priams Sonne,
Fi’ring a brand which after made to burne
The Troian towers by Græcians ruinate.
By this loue, Priam, Hector, Troilus,
Memnon, Deiphobus, Glaucus, thouſands mo,
Whome redd Scamanders armor clogged ſtreamesRoll’d 051 G3r
Roll’d into Seas, before their dates are dead.
So plaguie he, ſo many tempeſts raiſeth,
So murdring he, ſo many Cities raiſeth,
When inſolent, blinde, lawles, orderles,
With madd delights our ſence he entertaines.
All knowing Gods our wracks did vs foretell
By ſignes in earth, by ſignes in ſtarry Sphæres:
Which ſhould haue mou’d vs, had not deſtinie
With too ſtrong hand warped our miſerie.
The Comets flaming through the ſcat’red clouds
With fiery beames, moſt like vnbroaded haires:
The fearefull dragon whiſtling at the bankes,
And holie Apis ceaſeles bellowing
(As neuer erſt) and ſhedding endles teares:
Bloud raining downe from heau’n in vnknow’n ſhowers:
Our Gods darke faces ouercaſt with woe,
And dead mens Ghoſts appearing in the night.
Yea euen this night while all the Cittie ſtoode
Oppreſt with terror, horror, ſeruile feare,
Deepe ſilence ouer all: the ſounds were heard
Of diuerſe ſongs, and diuers inſtruments,
Within the voide of aire: and howling noiſe,
Such as madde Bacchus prieſts in Bacchus feaſts
On Niſa make: and (ſeem’d) the company,
Our Cittie loſt, went to the enemie.
So we forſaken both of Gods and men,
So are we in the mercy of our foes:
And we hencefoorth obedient muſt become
To lawes of them who haue vs ouercome.
Lament we our miſhaps,
Drowne we with teares our woe:
For Lamentable happes
Lamented eaſie growe:
And much leſſe torment bring
Then when they firſt did ſpring.
We want that wofull ſong,
Wherwith wood-muſiques Queene
Doth eaſe her woes, among,
freſh ſpringtimes buſhes greene,
On pleaſant branche alone
Renewing auntient mone.
We want that monefull ſounde,
That pratling Progne makes
On fieldes of Thracian ground,
Or ſtreames of Thracian lakes:
To empt her breſt of paine
For Itys by her ſlaine.
Though Halcyons doo ſtill,
Bewailing Ceyx lot,
The Seas with plainings fill
Which his dead limmes haue got,
Not euer other graue
Then tombe of waues to haue:
And though the birde in death
That moſt Meander loues
So ſwetely ſighes his breath
When death his fury proues,As 053 G4r
As almoſt ſofts his heart,
And almoſt blunts his dart:
Yet all the plaints of thoſe,
Nor all their tearfull larmes,
Cannot content our woes,
Nor ſerue to waile the harmes,
In ſoule which we, poore we,
To feele enforced be.
Nor they of Phæbus bredd
In teares can doo ſo well,
They for their brother ſhedd,
Who into Padus fell,
Raſh guide of chariot cleare
Surueiour of the yeare.
Nor ſhe whom heau’nly powers
To weping rocke did turne,
Whoſe teares diſtill in ſhowers,
And ſhew ſhe yet doth mourne,
Where with his toppe to Skies
Mount Sipylus doth riſe.
Nor weping drops which flowe
From barke of wounded tree,
That Myrrhas ſhame do ſhowe
With ours compar’d may be,
To quench her louing fire
Who durſt embrace her ſire.
Nor all the howlings made
On Cybels ſacred hill
By Eunukes of her trade,
Who Atys, Atys ſtill
With doubled cries reſound,Which 054 G4v
Which Echo makes rebound.
Our plaints no limits ſtay,
Nor more then doo our woes:
Both infinitely ſtraie
And neither meaſure knowes.
In measure let them plaine:
Who meaſur’d griefes ſuſtaine.
That I haue thee betraid, deare Antonie,
My life, my ſoule, my Sunne? I had ſuch thought?
That I haue thee betraide my Lord, my King?
That I would breake my vowed faith to thee?
Leaue thee? deceiue thee? yeelde thee to the rage
Of mightie foe? I euer had that hart?
Rather ſharpe lightning lighten on my head:
Rather may I to deepeſt miſchiefe fall:
Rather the opened earth deuower me:
Rather fierce Tigers feed them on my fleſh:
Rather, ô rather let our Nilus ſend,
To ſwallow me quicke, ſome weeping Crocodile.
And didſt thou then ſuppoſe my royall hart
Had hatcht, thee to enſnare, a faithles loue?
And changing minde, as Fortune changed cheare,
I would weake thee, to winne the ſtronger, looſe?
O wretch! ô caitiue! â too cruell happe!
And did not I ſufficient loſſe ſuſtaine
Looſing my Realme, looſing my liberty,My 055 H1r
My tender of-ſpring, and the ioyfull light
Of beamy Sunne, and yet, yet looſing more
Thee Antony my care, if I looſe not
What yet remain’d? thy loue alas! thy loue,
More deare then Scepter, children, freedome, light.
So ready I to row in Charons barge,
Shall leeſe the ioy of dying in thy loue:
So the ſole comfort of my miſerie
To haue one tombe with thee is me bereft.
So I in ſhady plaines ſhall plaine alone,
Not (as I hop’d) companion of thy mone,
O height of griefe! Eras why with continuall cries
Your griefull harmes doo you exaſperate?
Torment your ſelfe with murthering complaints?
Straine your weake breaſt ſo oft, ſo vehemently?
Water with teares this faire alablaſter?
With ſorrowes ſting ſo many beauties wound?
Come of ſo many Kings want you the hart
Brauely, ſtoutly, this tempeſt to reſiſt?
No humain force can them withſtand, bnut death.
My face hath ſo entrap’d, ſo caſt vs downe,
That for his conqueſt Cæſar may it thanke,
Cauſing that Antony one army loſt
The other wholy did to Cæſar yeld.
For not induring (ſo his armorouſe ſprite
Was with my beautie fir’de) my ſhamefull flight,H. Soone 056 H1v
Soone as he ſaw from ranke wherin he ſtoode
In hotteſt fight, my Gallies making ſaile:
Forgetfull of his charge (as if his ſoule
Vnto his Ladies ſoule has bene enchain’d)
He left his men, who ſo couragiouſlie
Did leaue their liues to gaine him victorie.
And careleſſe both of fame and armies loſſe
My oared Gallies follow’d with his Ships
Companion of my flight, by this baſe parte
Blaſting his former flouriſhing renowne.
Antony (ay me! who elſe ſo braue a chiefe!)
Would not I ſhould haue taken Seas with him:
But would haue left me fearfull woman farre
From common hazard of the doubtfull warre.
O that I had beleu’d! now, now of Rome
All the great Empire at our beck ſhould bende.
All ſhould obey, the vagabonding Scythes,
The feared Germains, back-ſhooting Parthians,
Wandring Numidians, Brittons farre remoou’d,
And tawny nations ſcorched with the Sunne.
But I car’d not: ſo was my ſoule poſſeſt,
(To my great harme) with burning iealouſie:
Fearing leaſt in my abſence Antony
Should leauing me retake Octauia.
But leaue to mortall men to be diſpos’d
Freelie on earth what euer mortall is.
If wether in ſometimes ſome faultes commit,
We may them not to their high maieſties,
But to our ſelues impute; whoſe paſsions
Plunge vs each day in all afflictions.
Wherwith when we our ſoules do thorned feele,
Flatt’ring our ſelues we ſay they deſt’nies are:
That Gods would haue it ſo, and that our care
Could not empeach but that it muſt be ſo.
Before they be in this our wordllde borne:
And neuer can our weaknes turne awry
The ſtailes courſe of powerfull deſtenie.
Nought here force, reaſon, humaine prouidence,
Holie deuotion, noble bloud preuailes:
And Ioue himſelfe whoſe hand doth heauens rule,
Who both to Gods and men as King commaunds,
Who earth (our firme ſupport) with plenty ſtores,
Moues aire and ſea with twinckling of his eie,
Who all can doe, yet neuer can vndoe
What once hath been by their hard lawes decreed.
When Troian walles, great Neptunes workmanſhip,
Enuiron’d were with Greekes, and Fortunes whele
Doubtfull ten yeares now to the campe did turne,
And now againe towards the towne return’d:H2 How 058 H2v
How many times did force and fury ſwell
In Hectors veines egging him to the ſpoile
Of conquer’d foes, which at his blowes did flie,
As fearefull ſhepe at feared wolues approche:
To ſaue (in vaine: for why? it would not be)
Pore walles of Troie from aduerſaries rage,
Who died them in bloud, and caſt to ground
Heap’d them with bloudie burning carcaſes.
No, Madame, thinke, that if the ancient crowne
Of your progenitors that Nilus rul’d,
Force take from you; the Gods haue will’d it ſo,
To whome oft times Princes are odiouſe.
They haue to euery thing an end ordain’d;
All wordly greatnes by them bounded is;
Some ſooner, later ſome, as they think beſt:
None their decree is able to infringe.
But, which is more, to vs diſaſtred men
Which ſubiect are in all things to their will,
Their will is hidd: nor while we liue, we know
How, or how long we muſt in life remaine.
Yet muſt we not for that feede on diſpaire,
And make vs wretched ere we wretched bee:
But alwaies hope the beſt, euen to the laſt,
That from our ſelues the miſchief may not growe.
Then, Madame, helpe your ſelfe, leaue of in time
Antonies wracke, leſt it your wracke procure:
Retire you frrom him, ſaue from wrathfull rage
Of angry Cæſar both your Realme and you.
You ſee him loſt, ſo as your amitie
Vnto his euills can yelde no more reliefe.
You ſee him ruin’d, ſo as your ſupportNo 059 H3r
No more hencefourth can him with comfort raiſe.
With-draw you from the ſtorme: perſiſt not ſtill
To looſe your ſelfe: this royall diademe
Regaine of Cæſar.
Shall leaue the daie, and darknes leaue the night:
Sooner moiſt currents of tempeſtuous ſeas
Shall waue in heauen, and the nightlie troopes
Of ſtarres ſhall ſhine within the foming waues,
Then I thee, Antonie, Leaue in depe diſtres.
I am with thee, be it thy worthy ſoule
Lodge in thy breſt, or from that lodging parte
Croſſing the ioyles lake to take hir place
In place prepared for men Demy-gods.
Liue, if thee pleaſe, if life be lothſome die:
Dead and aliue, Antonie, thou ſhalt ſee
Thy princeſſe follow thee, folow, and lament,
Thy wrack, no leſſe her owne then was thy weale.
That giue them vp to adnuverſaries handes,H53 A 060 H3v
A man forſaken fearing to forſake,
Whome ſuch huge numbers hold enuironned?
T’ abandon one gainſt whome the frowning world
Banded with Cæſar makes conſpiring warre.
A friend in moſt diſtreſſe ſhould moſt aſſiſt.
If that when Antonie great and glorious
His legiouns led to drinke Euphrates ſtreames,
So many Kings in traine redoubting him;
In triumph raiſ’d as high as higheſt heaun;
Lord-like diſpoſing as him pleaſed beſt,
The wealth of Greece, the wealth of Aſia:
In that faire fortune had I him exchaung’d
For Cæſar, then, men would haue counted me
Faithles, vnconſtant, light: but now the ſtorme,
And bluſtring tempeſt driuing on his face,
Readie to drowne, Alas! what would they ſaie?
What would himſelfe in Plutos manſion ſaie?
If I, whome alwaies more then life he lou’de,
If I, who am his heart, who was his hope,
Leaue him, forſake him (and perhaps in vaine)
Weakly to pleaſe who him hath ouerthrowne?
Not light, vnconſtant, faithleſſe ſhould I be,
But vile, forſworne, of treachrous crueltie.
Our children, frends, and to our countrie ſoile.
And you for ſome reſpect of wiuelie loue,
(Albee ſcarce wiuelie) looſe you natiue land,Your 061 H4r
Your children, frends, and (which is more) your life,
With ſo ſtrong charmes doth loue bewitch our witts:
So faſt in vs this fire once kindled flames.
Yet if his harme by yours redreſſe might haue,
You might exempt him from the lawes of death.
But he is ſure to die: and now his ſworde
Alreadie moiſted is in his warme bloude,
Helples for any ſuccour you can bring
Againſt deaths ſtinge, which he muſt ſhortlie feele.
Then let your loue be like the loue of olde
Which Carian Queene did nouriſh in hir heart
Oſf hir Mauſolus: builde for him a tombe
Whoſe ſtatelineſſe a wonder new may make.
Let him, let him haue ſumtuouſe funeralles:
Let graue thereon the horror of his fights:
Let earth be buri’d with vnburied heaps.
Frame ther Pharſaly, and diſcoulour’d ſtream’s
Of depe Enipeus: frame the graſſie plaine,
Which lodg’d his campe at ſiege of Mutina.
Make all his combats, and couragiouſe acts:
And yearly plaies to his praiſe inſtitute:
Honor his memorie: with doubled care
Breed and bring vp the children of you both
In Cæſars grace: who as a noble Prince
Will leaue them Lords of this moſt gloriouſe realme.
With Antonie in his good happs to ſhare,
And ouerliue him dead: deeming enough
To ſhed ſome teares vpon a widdowe tombe?The 062 H4v
The after-liuers iuſtly might report
That I him onlie for his empire lou’d,
And high ſtate: and that in hard estate
I for another did him lewdlie leaue?
Like to thoſe birds wafted with wandring wings
From foraine lands in ſpring-time here arriue:
And liue with vs ſo long as Somers heate,
And their foode laſts, then ſeke another ſoile.
And as we ſee with ceaſleſſe fluttering
Flocking of ſeely flies a browniſh cloud
To vintag’d wine yet working in the tonne,
Not parting thence while they ſwete liquor taſte:
After, as ſmoke, all vaniſh in the aire,
And of the ſwarme not one ſo much appeare.
My fix’d intent of folowing Antonie.
I will die. I will die: muſt not his life,
His life and death by mine be folowed?
Meane while, deare ſiſters, liue: and while you liue,Doe 063 I1r
Doe often honor to our loued Tombes.
Straw them with flowrs: and ſometimes happelie
The tender thought of Antonie your Lorde
And me poore ſoule to teares ſhall you inuite,
And our true loues your dolefull voice commend.
Thinke you alone to feele deaths ougly darte?
Thinke you to leaue vs? and that the ſame ſunne
Shall ſee at once you dead, and vs aliue?
Weele die with you: and Clotho pittileſſe
Shall vs with you in helliſh boate imbarque.
Which racks my heart, alone to me belonges:
My lott longs not to you: ſeruants to be
No ſhame, no harme to you, as is to me.
Liue ſiſters, liue, and ſeing his ſuſpect
Hath cauſleſſe me in ſea of ſorowes drown’d,
And that I can not liue, if ſo I would,
Nor yet would leaue this life, if ſo I could,
Without, his loue: procure me, Diomed,
That gainſt poore me he be no more incenſd.
Wreſt out of his conceit that harmfull doubt,
That ſince his wracke he hath of me conceiu’d
Though wrong conceiu’d: witneſſe you reuerent Gods,
Barking Anubis, Apis bellowing.
Tell him, my ſoule burning, impatient,
Forlorne with loue of him, for certaine ſeale
Of her true loialtie my corpſe hath left,
T’ encreaſe of dead the number numberleſſe.
Go then, and if as yet he me bewaile,
If yet for me his heart one ſigh fourth breatheI Bleſt 064 I1v
Bleſt ſhall I be: and farre with more content
Depart this world, where ſo I me torment.
Meane ſeaſon vs let this ſadd tombe encloſe,
Attending here till death conclude our woes.
The Gods repay of thy true faithfull heart.
And is’t not pittie, Gods, ah Gods of heau’n!
To ſee from loue ſuch hatefull frutes to ſpring?
And is’t not pittie that this firebrand ſo
Laies waſte the trophes of Philippi fieldes?
Where are thoſe ſwete allurements, thoſe ſwete lookes,
Which Gods themſelues right hart-ſicke would haue made?
What doth that beautie, rareſt guift of heau’n,
Wonder of earth? Alas! what doe thoſe eies?
And that ſwete voice all Aſia vnderſtoode,
And ſunburnt Afrike wide in deſerts ſpred?
Is their force dead? haue they no further power?
Can not by them Octauius be ſurpriz’d?
Alas! if Ioue in middſt of all his ire,
With thunderbolt in hand ſome land to plague,
Had caſt his eies on my Queene, out of hande
His plaguing bolte had falne out of his hande:
Fire of his wrathe into vaine ſmoke ſhould turne,
And other fire within his breſt ſhould burne.
Nought liues ſo faire. Nature by ſuch a worke
Her ſelfe, ſhould ſeme, in workmanſhip hath paſt.
She is all heau’nlie: neuer any man
But ſeing hir was rauiſh’d with her ſight.The 065 I2r
The Allablaſter couering of hir face,
The corall coullor hir two lipps engraines,
Her beamie eies, two Sunnes of this our world,
Of hir faire haire the fine and flaming golde,
Her braue ſtreight ſtature, and hir winning partes
Are nothing elſe but fiers, fetters, dartes.
Yet this is nothing th’e’nchaunting skilles
Of her cæleſtiall Sp’rite, hir training ſpeache,
Her grace, hir Maieſtie, and forcing voice,
Whither ſhe it with fingers ſpeach conſorte,
Or hearing ſceptred kings embaſſadors
Anſwer to eache in his owne language make.
Yet now at nede ſhe aides hir not at all
With all theſe beauties, ſo hir ſorowe ſtings.
Darkned with woe hir only ſtudie is
To wepe, to ſigh, to ſeke for lonelines.
Careles of all, hir haire diſordred hangs:
Hir charming eies whence murthring looks did flie,
Now riuers grown’, whoſe well ſpring anguiſh is,
Do trickling waſh the marble of hir face.
Hir faire diſcouer’d breſt with ſobbing ſwolne
Selfe cruell ſhe ſtill martireth with blowes,
Alas! It’s our ill happ, for if hir teares
She would conuert into hir louing charmes,
To make a conqueſt of the conqueror,
(As well ſhee might, would ſhe hir force imploie)
She ſhould vs ſaftie from theſe ills procure,
Hir crowne to hir, and to hir race aſſure.
Vnhappy he, in whome ſelfe-ſuccour lies,
Yet ſelf-forſaken wanting ſuccour dies.
O ſwete fertile land, wherin
Phæbus did with breath inſpire
Man who men did firſt begin,
Formed firſt of Nilus mire.
Whence of Artes the eldeſt kindes,
Earthes moſt heauenly ornament,
Were as from their fountaine ſent,
To enlight our miſtie mindes.
Whoſe groſſe ſprite from endles time,
As in darkned priſon pente,
Neuer did to knowledg clime.
Wher the Nile, our father good,
Father-like doth neuer miſſe
Yearely vs to bring ſuch food,
As to life required is:
Viſiting each yeare this plaine,
And with fatt ſlime cou’ring it,
Which his ſeauen mouthes do ſpitt,
As the ſeaſon comes againe.
Making therby greateſt growe
Buſie reapers ioyfull paine,
When his flouds do higheſt flowe.
Wandring Prince of riuers thou,
Honor of the Æthiops lande,
Of a Lord and maſter now
Thou a ſlaue in awe muſt ſtand.
Now of Tiber which is ſpred
Leſſe in force, and leſſe in fameRe- 067 I3r
Reuerence thou muſt the name,
Whome all other riuers dread,
For his children ſwolne in pride,
Who by conqueſt ſeeke to treade
Round this earth on euery ſide.
Now thou muſt begin to ſende
Tribute of thy watrie ſtore,
As Sea pathes thy ſtepps ſhall bende,
Yearely preſents more and more.
Thy fatt ſkumme, our frutefull corne,
Pill’d from hence with theeuiſh hands
All vncloth’d ſhall leaue our lands
Into foraine Countrie borne.
Which puft vp with ſuch a pray
Shall therby the praiſe adorne
Of that ſcepter Rome doth ſway.
Nought thee helps thy hornes to hide
Farre from hence in vnknowne grounds,
That thy waters wander wide,
Yearely breaking bankes, and bounds.
And that thy Skie-coullor’d brookes
Through a hundred peoples paſſe,
Drawing plots for trees and graſſe
With a thouſand turn’s and crookes.
Whome all weary of their way
Thy throats which in wideneſſe paſſe
Powre into their Mother Sea.
Nought ſo happie hapleſſe life
In this worlde as freedome findes:
Nought wherin more ſparkes are rife
To inflame couragious mindes.I3 But 068 I3v
But if force muſt vs enforce
Nedes a yoke to vndergoe,
Vnder foraine yoke to goe
Still it proues a bondage worſe.
And doubled ſubiection
See we ſhall, and feele, and knowe
Subiect to a ſtranger growne.
From hence forward for a King,
whoſe firſt being from this place
Should his breſt by nature bring
Care of Countrie to embrace,
We at ſurly face muſt quake
Of ſome Romaine madly bent:
Who, our terrour to augment,
His Proconſuls axe will ſhake.
Driuing with our Kings from hence
Our eſtabliſh’d gouerment,
Iuſtice ſworde, and Lawes defence.
Nothing worldly of ſuch might
But more mightie Deſtinie,
By ſwift Times vnbridled flight,
Makes in ende his ende to ſee.
Euery thing Time ouerthrowes,
Nought to ende doth ſtedfaſt ſtaie:
His great ſithe mowes all away
As the ſtalke of tender roſe.
Of the Heau’ns doth it oppoſe
Gainſt his powerfull Deitie.
One daie there will come a daie
Which ſhall quaile thy fortunes flower,And 069 I4r
And thee ruinde low ſhall laie
In ſome barbarous Princes power.
When the pittie-wanting fire
Shall, O Rome, thy beauties burne,
And to humble aſhes turne
Thy proud wealth, and rich attire,
Thoſe guilt roofes which turretwiſe,
Iuſtly making Enuie mourne,
Threaten now to pearce Skies.
As thy forces fill each land
Harueſts making here and there,
Reaping all with rauening hand
They finde growing anywhere:
From each land ſo to thy fall
Multitudes repaire ſhall make,
From the common ſpoile to take
What to each mans ſhare maie fall.
Fingred all thou ſhalt beholde:
No iote left for tokens ſake
That thou wert ſo great of olde.
Like vnto the auncient Troie
Whence deriu’de thy founders be,
Conqu’ring foe ſhall thee enioie,
And a burning praie in thee.
For within this turning ball
This we ſee, and ſee each daie:
All things fixed ends do ſtaie,
Ends to firſt beginnings fall.
And that nought, how ſtrong or ſtrange,
Chaungles doth endure alwaie,
But endureth fatall change.
Lucil, ſole comfort of my bitter caſe,
The only truſt, the only hope I haue,
In laſt deſpaire: Ah! is not this the daie
That death ſhould me of life and loue bereaue?
What waite I for that haue no refuge left,
But am ſole remnant of my fortune left?
All leaue me, flie me: none, no not of them
Which of my greatnes greateſt good receiu’d,
Stands with my fall: they ſeeme as now aſham’de
That heretofore they did me ought regarde:
They draw them back, ſhewing they folow’d me,
Not to partake my harm’s, but coozen me.
In vaine he hopes, who here his hopes doth groūund.
As that I ſo my Cleopatra ſee
Practize with Cæſar, and to him tranſport
My flame, her loue, more deare then life to me.
Too Princelie thoughts.
Too much enflam’d with greatnes, euermore
Gaping for our great Empires gouerment.
Both by her fraud: my well appointed fleet,
And truſtie Souldiors in my quarell arm’d,
Whom ſhe, falſe ſhe, in ſtede of my defence,
Came to perſuade, to yelde them to my foe:
Such honor Thyre done, ſuch welcome giuen,
Their long cloſe talkes I neither knew, nor would,
And treacherouſe wrong Alexas hath me done,
Witnes too well her periur’d loue to me.
But you O Gods (if any faith regarde)
With ſharpe reuenge her faithles change reward.
Her Realme giuen vp for refuge to our men,
Her poore attire when ſhe deuoutly kept
The ſolemne day of her natiuitie,
Againe the coſt, and prodigall expence
Shew’d when ſhe did your birth day celebrate,
Do plaine enough her heart vnfained proue,
Equally toucht, you louing, as you loue.
Once in my ſoule a cureles wound I feele.
I loue, nay burne in fire of her loue:
Each day, each night her Image haunts my minde,
Her ſelfe my dreames: and ſtill I tired am,
And ſtill I am with burning pincers nipt.
Extreame my harme: yet ſweeter to my ſence
Then boiling Torch of iealouſe torments fire:
This grief, nay rage, in me ſuch ſturre doth kepe,
And thornes me ſtill, both when I wake and ſlepe.
Take Cæſar conqueſt, take my goods, take he
Th’onor to be Lord of the earth alone,
My Sonnes, my life bent headlong to miſhapps:
No force, ſo not my Cleopatra take.K. So 072 K1v
So fooliſh I, I can not her forget,
Though better were I baniſht her my thought.
Like to the ſicke, whoſe throte the feauers fire
Hath vehemently with thirſtie drouth enflam’d,
Drinkes ſtill, albee the drinke he ſtill deſires
Be nothing elſe but fewell to his flame:
He can not rule himſelfe: his health’s reſpect
Yeldeth to his diſtempred ſtomackes heate.
And now are by this vaine affection falne.
Plunges me more in this aduerſitie.
For nothing ſo a man in ill torments,
As who to him his good ſtate repreſents.
This makes my rack, my anguiſh, and my woe
Equall vnto the helliſh paſsions growe,
When I to minde my happie puiſance call
Which erſt I had by warlike conqueſt wonne,
And that good fortune which me neuer left,
Which hard diſaſtre now hath me bereft.
With terror tremble all the world I made
At my ſole worde, as Ruſhes in the ſtreames
At waters will: I conquer’d Italie,
I conquer’d Rome, that Nations ſo redoubt.
I bare (meanewhile beſieging Mutina)
Two Conſuls armies for my ruine brought,
Bath’d in their bloud, by their deaths witneſsing
My force and skill in matters Martiall.
To wreake thy vnkle, vnkinde Cæſar, I
With bloud of enemies the bankes embru’dOf 073 K2r
Of ſtain’d Enipeus, hindering his courſe
Stopped with heapes of piled carcaſes:
When Caſsius and Brutus ill betide
Marcht againſt vs, by vs twiſe put to flight,
But by my ſole conduct: for all the time
Cæſar heart-ſicke with feare and feauer laie.
Who knowes it not? and how by euery one
Fame of the fact was giu’n to me alone.
There ſprang the loue, the neuer changing loue,
Wherin my hart hath ſince to yours bene bound:
There was it, my Lucil, you Brutus ſau’de,
And for your Brutus Antonie you found.
Better my happ in gaining ſuch a frende,
Then in ſubduing ſuch an enemie.
Now former vertue dead doth me forſake,
Fortune engulfes me in extreame diſtreſſe:
She turnes from me her ſmiling countenance,
Caſting on me miſhapp vpon miſhapp,
Left and betraide of thouſand thouſand frends,
Once of my ſute, but you Lucil are left,
Remaining to me ſtedfaſt as a tower
In holy loue, in ſpite of fortunes blaſtes.
But if of any God my voice be heard,
And be not vainely ſcatt’red in the heau’ns,
Such goodnes ſhall not glorileſſe be loſte,
But comming ages ſtill therof ſhall boſte.
And neuer ought with fickle Fortune ſhake,
Which ſtill remoues, nor will, nor knowes the way,
Her rowling bowle in one ſure ſtate to ſtaie.
Wherfore we ought as borrow’d things receiue
The goods light ſhe lends vs to pay againe:K2 Not 074 K2v
Not holde them ſure, nor on them builde our hopes
As one ſuch goods as cannot faile, and fall:
But thinke againe, nothing is dureable,
Vertue except, our neuer failing hoſte:
So bearing ſaile when fauouring windes do blowe,
As frowning Tempeſts may vs leaſt diſmaie
When they on vs do fall: not ouer-glad
With good eſtate, nor ouer-grieu’d with bad.
Miſhappes oft times are by ſome comfort borne:
But theſe, ay me! whoſe weights oppreſſe my hart,
Too heauie lie, no hope can them relieue.
There reſts no more, but that with cruell blade
For lingring death a haſtie waie be made.
So will his Fathers goodnes imitate,
To you warde: whome he know’s allies in bloud,
Allied in mariage, ruling equallie
Th’ Empire with him, and with him making warre
Haue purg’d the earth of Cæſars murtherers.
You into portions parted haue the world
Euen like coheir’s their heritages parte:
And now with one accord ſo many yeares
In quiet peace both haue your charges rul’d.
To coole the thirſt of hote ambitious breaſts:
The ſonne his Father hardly can endure,
Brother his brother, in one common Realme.
So feruent this deſier to commaund:
Such iealouſie it kindleth in our hearts.
Sooner will men permit another ſhould
Loue her they loue, then weare the Crowne they weare.All 075 K3r
All lawes it breakes, turns all things vpſide downe:
Amitie, kindred, nought ſo holie is
But it defiles. A monarchie to gaine
None cares which way, ſo he maie it obtaine.
No more acknowledg ſundrie Emperours.
That Rome him onelie feare, and that he ioyne
The Eaſt with weſt, and both at once do rule:
Why ſhould he not permitt you peaceablie
Diſcharg’d of charge and Empires dignitie,
Priuate to liue reading Philoſophie,
In learned Greece, Spaine, Aſia, anie lande?
While in this world Marke Antonie ſhall liue.
Sleeples Suſpicion, Pale diſtruſt, colde feare
Alwaies to princes companie do beare
Bred of Reports: reports which night and day
Perpetuall gueſts from Court go not away.
Nor ſhortned hath the age of Lepidus,
Albeit both into his hands were falne,
And he with wrath againſt them both enflam’d.
Yet one, as Lord in quiet reſt doth beare
The greateſt ſway in great Iberia:
The other with his gentle Prince retaines
Of higheſt Prieſt the ſacred dignitie.
Can hardlie riſe, which once is brought ſo lowe.
(When all means fail’d) I to entreatie fell,(Ah 076 K3v
(Ah coward creature!) whence againe repulſt
Of combate I vnto him proffer made:
Though he in prime, and I by feeble age
Mightily weakned both in force and skill.
Yet could not he his coward heart aduaunce
Baſelie affraid to trie ſo prasiſefull chaunce.
This makes me plaine, makes me my ſelfe accuſe,
Fortune in this hir ſpitefull force doth vſe
’Gainſt my gray hayres: in this vnhappie I
Repine at heau’ns in my happes pittiles.
A man, a woman both in might and minde,
In Marſes ſchole who neuer leſſon learn’d,
Should me repulſe, chaſe, ouerthrow, deſtroie,
Me of ſuch fame, bring to ſo lowe an ebbe?
Alcides bloud, who from my infancie
With happie proweſſe crowned haue my praiſe.
Witneſſe thou Gaule vnuſ’d to ſeruile yoke,
Thou valiant Spaine, you fields of Theſſalie
With millions of mourning cries bewail’d,
Twiſe watred now with bloude of Italie.
All fower quarters witneſſes may be.
For in what part of earth inhabited,
Hungrie of praiſe haue you not enſignes ſpredd?
Faire and foule ſubiect) ægypt ah! thou know’ſt
How I behau’d me fighting for thy kinge,
When I regainde him his rebellious Realme:
Againſt his foes in battaile ſhewing force,
And after fight in victorie remorſe.
Yet if to bring my glorie to the ground,
Fortune had made me ouerthrowne by oneOf 077 K4r
Of greater force, of better ſkill then I;
One of thoſe Captaines feared ſo of olde,
Camill, Marcellus, worthy Scipio,
This late great Cæſar, honor of our ſtate,
Or that great Pompei aged growne in armes;
That after harueſt of a world of men
Made in a hundred battailes, fights, aſſaults,
My bodie thorow pearſt with puſh of pike
Had vomited my bloud, in bloud my life,
In midd’ſt of millions felowes in my fall:
The leſſe hir wrong, the leſſe ſhould my woe:
Nor ſhe ſhould paine, nor I complaine me ſo.
No, no, wheras I ſhould haue died in armes,
And vanquiſht oft new armies ſhould haue arm’d,
New battailes giuen, and rather loſt with me
All this whole world ſubmitted vnto me:
A man who neuer ſaw enlaced pikes
With briſtled pointes againſt his ſtomake bent,
Who feares the field, and hides him cowardly
Dead at the verie noiſe the ſouldiors make.
His vertue, fraude, deceit, malicious guile,
His armes the arts that falſe Vliſſes vſ’de,
Knowne at Modena, wher the Conſuls both
Death-wounded were, and wounded by his men
To gett their armie, warre with it to make
Againſt his faith, againſt his countrie ſoile.
Of Lepidus, which to his ſuccours came,
To honor whome he was by dutie bounde,
The Empire he vſurpt: corrupting firſt
With baites and bribes the moſt part of his men.
Yet me hath ouercome, and made his pray,
And ſtate of Rome, with me hath ouercome.
Strange! one diſordred act at Actium
The earth ſubdu’de, my glorie hath obſcur’d.
For ſince, as one whome heauens wrath attaints,
With furie caught, and more then furious
Vex’d with my euills, I neuer more had care
My armies loſt, or loſt name to repaire:
I did no more reſiſt.
But battailes moſt, daily haue their ſucceſſe
Now good, now ill: and though that fortune haue
Great force and power in euery wordlie thing,
Rule all, do all, haue all things faſt enchaind
Vnto the circle of hir turning wheele:
Yet ſeemes it more then any practiſe elſe
She doth frequent Ballonas bloudie trade:
And that hir fauour, wauering as the wind,
Hir greateſt power therin doth oftneſt ſhewe.
Whence growes, we dailie ſee, who in their youth
Gatt honor ther, do looſe it in their age,
Vanquiſht by ſome leſſe warlike then themſelues:
Whome yet a meaner man ſhall ouerthrowe.
Hir vſe is not to lende vs ſtill her hande,
But ſometimes headlong back a gaine to throwe,
When by hir fauor ſhe hath vs extolld
Vnto the topp of higheſt happines.
Lamenting daie and night, this ſenceleſſe loue,
Whereby my faire entiſing foe entrap’d
My hedeleſſe Reaſon, could no more eſcape.
It was not fortunes euer chaunging face,
It was not Deſt’nies chaungles violence
Forg’d my miſhap. Alas! who doth not know
They make, nor marre, nor any thing can doe.For- 079 L1r
Fortune, which men ſo feare, adore, deteſt,
Is but a chaunce whoſe cauſe vnknow’n doth reſt.
Although oft times the cauſe is well perceiu’d,
But not th’effect the ſame that was conceiu’d.
Pleaſure, nought elſe, the plague of this our life,
Our life which ſtill a thouſand plagues purſue,
Alone hath me this ſtrange diſaſtre ſpunne,
Falne from a ſouldior to a Chamberer,
Careles of vertue, careles of all praiſe.
Nay, as the fatted ſwine in filthy mire
With glutted heart I wallow’d in delights,
All thoughts of honor troden vnder foote.
So I me loſt: for finding this ſwete cupp
Pleaſing my taſt, vnwiſe I drunke my fill,
And through the ſwetenes of that poiſons power
By ſtepps I draue my former witts aſtraie.
I made my frends, offended me forſake,
I holpe my foes againſt my ſelfe to riſe.
I robd my ſubiects, and for followers
I ſaw my ſelfe beſett with flatterers.
Mine idle armes faire wrought with ſpiders worke,
My ſcattred men without their enſignes ſtrai’d:
Cæſar meane while who neuer would haue dar’de
To cope with me, me ſodainlie deſpis’de,
Tooke hart to fight, and hop’de for victorie
On one ſo gone, who glorie had forgone.
Weaken our bodies, ouer-cloud our ſprights,
Trouble our reaſon, from our harts out chaſe
All holie vertues lodging in their place.
Like as the cunning fiſher takes the fiſhe
By traitor baite wherby the hooke is hidde:L So 080 L1v
So Pleaſure ſerues to vice in ſteede of foode
To baite our ſoules theron too licouriſhe.
This poiſon deadlie is alike to all,
But on great kings doth greateſt outrage worke,
Taking the Roiall ſcepters from their hands,
Thenceforward to be by ſome ſtraunger borne:
While that their people charg’d with heauy loades
Their flatt’rers pill, and ſuck their mary drie,
Not ru’lde but left to great men as a pray,
While this fonde Prince himſelfe in pleaſur’s drowns:
Who heares nought, ſees nought, doth nought of a king,
Seming himſelfe againſt himſelfe conſpirde.
Then equall Iuſtice wandreth baniſhed,
And in hir ſeat ſitts greedie Tyrannie.
Confuſ’d diſorder troubleth all eſtates,
Crimes without feare and outrages are done.
Then mutinous Rebellion ſhewes hir face,
Now hid with this, and now with that pretence,
Prouoking enimies, which on each ſide
Enter at eaſe, and make them Lords of all.
The hurtfull workes of pleaſure here behold.
Froſt to the grapes, to ripened fruits the raine:
As pleaſure is to Princes full of paine.
Who loſt my empire, honor, life therby.
As ſcarcelie anie do againſt it ſtand:
No, not the Demy-gods the olde world knew,
Who all ſubdu’de, could Pleaſures power ſubdue.
Great Hercules, Hercules once that was
Wonder of earth and heau’n, matchles in might,
Who Anteus, Lycus, Geryon ouercame,
Who drew from hell the triple-headed dogg,
Who Hydra kill’d, vanquiſhd Achelous,
Who heauens weight on his ſtrong ſhoulders bare:
Did he not vnder Pleaſures burthen bow?
Did he not Captiue to this paſſion yelde,
When by his Captiue, ſo he was enflam’de,
As now your ſelfe in Cleopatra burne?
Slept in hir lapp, hir boſome kiſt and kiſte,
With baſe vnſemelie ſeruice bought her loue,
Spinning at diſtaffe, and with ſinewy hand
Winding on ſpindles threde, in maides attire?
His conqu’ring clubbe at reſt on wal did hang:
His bow vnſtringd he bent not as he vſ’de:
Vpon his ſhafts the weauing ſpiders ſpunne:
And his hard cloake the freating mothes did pierce.
The monſters free and fearles all the time
Throughout the world the people did torment,
And more and more encreaſing daie by day
Scorn’d his weake heart become a miſtreſſe plaie.
In this I proue me of his lignage right:
In this himſelfe, his deedes I ſhew in this,
In this, nought elſe, my anceſtor he is.
But goe we: die I muſt, and with braue ende
Concluſion make of all foregoing harmes:
Die, die I muſt: I muſt a noble death,
A glorious death vnto my ſuccor call:
I muſt deface the ſhame of time abuſ’d,
I muſt adorne the wanton loues I vſ’deL32 With 082 L2v
With ſome couragiouſe act: that my laſt daie
By mine owne hand my ſpotts may waſh away.
Come deare Lucill: alas! why wepe you thus!
This mortall lot is common to vs all.
We muſt all die, each doth in homage owe
Vnto that God that ſhar’d the Realmes belowe.
Ah ſigh no more: alas: appeace your woes,
For by your griefe more eager growes.
Alas, with what tormenting fire.
Vs martireth this blinde deſire
To ſtaie our life from flieng!
How ceaſleſlie our minds doth rack,
How heauie lies vpon our back
This daſtard feare of dieng!
Death rather healthfull ſuccor giues,
Death rather all miſhapps relieues
That life vpon vs throweth:
And euer to vs doth vncloſe
The doore, wherby from cureleſſe woes
Our wearie ſoule out goeth.
What Goddeſſe elſe more milde then ſhee
To burie all our paine can be,
What remedie more pleaſing?
Our pained hearts when dolor ſtings,
And nothing reſt, or reſpite brings,
What help haue we more eaſing?
Hope which to vs doth comfort giue,
And doth or fainting hearts reuiue,
Hath not ſuch force in anguiſh:For 083 L3r
For promiſing a vaine reliefe
She oft vs failes in midſt of griefe,
And helples letts vs languiſh.
But Death who call on her at nede
Doth neuer with vaine ſemblant feed,
But when them ſorow paineth,
So riddes their ſoules of all diſtreſſe
Whoſe heauie weight did them oppreſſe,
That not one griefe remaineth.
Who feareles and with courage bolde
Can Acherons black face beholde,
Which muddie water beareth:
And croſsing ouer, in the way
Is not amaz’d at Perruque gray
Olde ruſtie Charon weareth:
Who voide of dread can looke vpon
The dreadfull ſhades that rome alone,
On bankes where ſound no voices:
Whom with her fire-brands and her Snakes
No whit afraide Alecto makes,
Nor triple-barking noyſes:
Who freely can himſelfe diſpoſe
Of that laſt hower which all muſt cloſe,
And leaue this life at pleaſure:
This noble freedome more eſteemes,
And in his hart more precious deemes,
Then Crowne and kingly treaſure.
The waues which Boreas blaſts turmoile
And cauſe with foaming furie boile,
Make not his heart to tremble:
Nor brutiſh broile, when with ſtrong headA rebell 084 L3v
A rebell people madly ledde
Againſt their Lords aſſemble:
Nor fearfull face of Tirant wood,
Who breaths but threats, and drinks but bloud,
No, nor the hand which thunder,
The hand of Ioue which thunder beares,
And ribbs of rocks in ſunder teares;
Teares mountains ſides in ſunder:
Nor bloudie Marſes butchering bands,
Whoſe lightnings deſert laie the lands
whome duſtie cloudes do couer:
From of whoſe armour ſun-beames flie,
And vnder them make quaking lie
The plaines wheron they houer:
Nor yet the cruell murth’ring blade
Warme in the moiſtie bowells made
of people pell mell dieng
In ſome great Cittie put to ſack
By ſauage Tirant brought to wrack,
At his colde mercie lieng.
How abiect him, how baſe think I,
Who wanting courage can not dye
When need him therto calleth?
From whom the dagger drawne to kill
The cureleſſe griefes that vexe him ſtill
For feare and faintnes falleth?
O Antonie with thy deare mate
Both in miſfortunes fortunate!
Whoſe thoughts to death aſpiring
Shall you protect frrom victors rage,
Who on each ſide doth you encage,To 085 L4r
To triumph much deſiring.
That Cæſar may you not offend
Nought elſe but Death can you defend,
which his weake force derideth,
And all in this round earth containd,
Powr’les on them whom once enchaind
Auernus priſon hideth:
Where great Pſammetiques ghoſt doth reſt,
Not with infernall paine poſſeſt,
But in ſwete fields detained:
And olde Amaſis ſoule likewiſe,
And all our famous Ptolemies
That whilome on vs raigned.
Act. 4.Cæſar. Agrippa. Dircetus the Meſſenger.
You euer-liuing Gods which all things holde
Within the power of your celeſtiall hands,
By whome heate, colde, the thunder, and the winde,
The properties of enterchaunging mon’ths
Their courſe and being haue; which do ſet downe
Of Empires by your deſtinied decree
The force, age, time, and ſubiect to no chaunge
Chaunge all, reſeruing nothing in one ſtate:
You haue aduaunſt, as high as thundring heau’n
The Romains greatnes by Bellonas might:
Maſtring the world with fearfull violence,Making 086 L4v
Making the world widow of libertie.
Yet at this daie this proud exalted Rome
Deſpoil’d, captiu’d, at one mans will doth bende:
Her Empire mine, her life is in my hand,
As Monarch I both world and Rome commaund;
Do all, can all; fourth my commaund’ment caſt
Like thundring fire from one to other Pole
Equall to Ioue: beſtowing by my worde
Happes and miſhappes, as Fortunes King and Lord.
No Towne there is, but vp my Image ſettes,
But ſacrifice to me doth dayly make:
Whither where Phæbus ioyne his morning ſteedes,
Or where the night them weary entertaines,
Or where the heat the Garamants doth ſcorche,
Or where the colde from Boreas breaſt is blowne:
All Cæſar do both awe and honor beare,
And crowned Kings his verie name do feare.
Antonie knowes it well, for whom not one
Of all the Princes all this earth do rule,
Armes againſt me: for all redoubt the power
Which heau’nly powers on earth haue made me beare.
Antonie, he poore man with fire enflam’de
A womans beauties kindled in his heart,
Roſe againſt me, who longer could not beare
My ſiſters wrong he did ſo ill entreat:
Seing her left while that his leud delights
Her husband with his Cleopatra tooke
In Alexandrie, where both nights and daies
Their time they paſs’d in nought but loues and plaies.
All Aſias forces into one he drewe,
And forth he ſett vpon the azur’d wauesA thou- 087 M1r
A thouſand and a thouſand Shipps, which fill’d
With Souldiors, pikes, with targets, arrowes, darts,
Made Neptune quake, and all the watrie troupes
Of Glauques and Tritons lodg’d at Actium.
But mightie Gods, who ſtill the force withſtand
Of him, who cauſles doth another wrong,
In leſſe then moments ſpace redus’d to nought
All that proud power by Sea or land he brought.
Voluptuouſe care of fonde and fooliſh loue,
Haue iuſtly wrought his wrack: who thought he helde
(By ouerweening) Fortune in his hand.
Of vs he made no count, but as to play,
So fearles came our forces to aſſay.
So ſometimes fell to Sonnes of Mother Earth,
Which crawl’d to heau’n warre on the Gods to make,
Olymp on Pelion, Oſſa on Olymp,
Pindus on Oſſa loading by degrees:
That at hand ſtrokes with mightie clubbes they might
On moſsie rocks the Gods make tumble downe:
When mightie Ioue with burning anger chaf’d,
Disbraind with him Gyges and Briareus,
Blunting his darts vpon their bruſed bones.
For no one thing the Gods can leſſe abide
In dedes of men, then Arrogance and Pride.
And ſtill the proud, which too much takes in hand,
Shall fowleſt fall, where beſt he thinks to ſtand.
Which ouer-lookes the neighbour buildings round
In ſcorning wiſe, and to the Starres vp growes,
Which in ſhort time his owne weight ouerthrowes.
What monſtrous pride, nay what impietieM. Incenſt 088 M1v
Incenſt him onward to the Gods diſgrace?
When his two children, Cleopatras bratts,
To Phæbe and her brother he compar’d,
Latonas race, cauſing them to be call’d
The Sunne and Moone? Is not this folie right?
And is not this the Gods to make his foes?
And is not this himſelf to worke his woes?
The Iewiſh king Antigonus, to haue
His Realme for balme, that Cleopatra lou’d,
As though on him he had ſome treaſon prou’d.
Cyprus of golde, Arabia rich of ſmelles:
And to his children more Cilicia,
Parth’s, Medes, Armenia, Phænicia:
The kings of kings proclaiming them to be,
By his owne worde, as by a ſound decree.
Triumph’d he not in Alexandria,
Of Artabaſus the Armenian King,
Who yelded on his periur’d word to him?
Since thou, ô Romulus, by flight of birds
with happy hand the Romain walles did’ſt build,
Then Antonies fond loues to it hath done.
Nor euer warre more holie, nor more iuſt,
Nor vndertaken with more hard conſtraint,
Then is this warre: which were it not, our ſtate
Within ſmall time all dignitie ſhould looſe:
Though I lament (thou Sunne my witnes art,
And thou great Ioue) that it ſo deadly proues;That 089 M2r
That Romain bloud ſhould in ſuch plentie flowe,
Watring the fields and paſtures where we goe.
What Carthage in olde hatred obſtinate,
What Gaule ſtill barking at our riſing ſtate,
What rebell Samnite, what fierce Pyrrhus power,
What cruell Mithridate, what Parth hath wrought
Such woe to Rome? whoſe common wealth he had,
(Had he bene victor) into Egipt brought.
Stedfaſt to ſtand as long as time endures,
Which kepe the Capitoll, of vs take care,
And care will take of thoſe ſhall after come,
Haue made you victor, that you might redreſſe
Their honor growne by paſſed miſchieues leſſe.
His fleete had hidd, in hope me ſure to drowne,
Me battaile gaue: where fortune, in my ſtede,
Repulſing him his forces diſaraied.
Him ſelfe tooke flight, ſoone as his loue he ſaw
All wanne through feare with full ſailes flie away.
His men, though loſt, whome none did now direct,
With courage fought faſt grappled ſhipp with ſhipp,
Charging, reſiſting, as their oares would ſerue,
With darts, with ſwords, with Pikes, with fierie flames.
So that the darkned night her ſtarrie vaile
Vpon the bloudie ſea had ouer-ſpred,
Whilſt yet they held: and hardlie, hardlie then
They fell to flieng on the wauie plaine.
All full of Souldiors ouerwhelm’d with waues:
The aire throughout with cries and grones did ſound:
The Sea did bluſh with bloud: the neighbor ſhoresM2 Groned 090 M2v
Groned, ſo they with ſhipwracks peſtred were,
And floting bodies left for pleaſing foode
To birds, and beaſts, and fiſhes of the ſea.
You know it well Agrippa.
The Romain Empire ſo ſhould ruled be,
As heau’n is rul’d: which turning ouer vs,
All vnder things by his example turnes.
Now as of heau’n one onely Lord we know:
One onely Lord ſhould rule this earth below.
When one ſelf pow’re is common made to two,
Their duties they nor ſuffer will, nor doe.
In quarell ſtill, in doubt, in hate, in feare;
Meane while the people all the ſmart do beare.
Seeking to raiſe himſelfe may ſuccours finde,
We muſt with bloud marke this our victorie,
For iuſt example to all memorie.
Murther we muſt, vntill not one we leaue,
Which may hereafter vs of reſt bereaue.
No ſuch defence, as is the peoples loue.
Then Peoples fauor ſtill to chaunge enclinde.
That by our ſinnes they are to wrathe prouok’d.
Neither muſt you (beleue, I humblie praie)
Your victorie with crueltie defile.
The Gods it gaue, it muſt not be abuſ’d,
But to the good of all men mildlie vs’d,
And they be thank’d: that hauing giu’n you grace
To raigne alone, and rule this earthlie maſſe,
They may hence-forward hold it ſtill in reſt,
All ſcattred power vnited in one breſt.
Approching vs, and going in ſuch haſt?
(But much I erre) a bloudie ſworde eſpie.
That tell I may to rocks, and hilles, and woods,
To waues of ſea, which daſh vpon the ſhore,
To earth, to heau’n, the woefull newes I bring?
O Gods too pittiles!
Wilt thou recount?
When I but dreame of what mine eies beheld,
My hart doth freeze, my limmes do quiuering quake,
I ſenceles ſtand, my breſt with tempeſt toſt
Killes in my throte my wordes, ere fully borne.
Dead, dead he is: be ſure of what I ſay,
This murthering ſword hath made the man away.
My breaſt doth pant to heare this dolefull tale.
Is Antonie then dead? To death, alas!
I am the cauſe deſpaire him ſo compelld.
But ſouldiour of his death the maner ſhowe,
And how he did this liuing light forgoe.
How warre he might, or how agreement make,
Saw him betraid by all his men of warre
In euery fight as well by ſea, as lande;
That not content to yeld them to their foes
They alſo came againſt himſelfe to fight:
Alone in Court he gan himſelf torment,
Accuſe the Queene, himſelfe of hir lament,
Call’d hir vntrue and traytreſſe, as who ſought
To yeld him vp ſhe could no more defend:
That in the harmes which for hir ſake he bare,
As in his blisfull ſtate, ſhe might not ſhare.
But ſhe againe, who much his furie fear’d,
Gatt to the Tombes, darke horrors dwelling place:
Made lock the doores, and pull the hearſes downe.
Then fell ſhee wretched, with hir ſelfe to fight.
A thouſand plaints, a thouſand ſobbes ſhe caſt
From hir weake breſt which to the bones was torne.Of 093 M4r
Of women hir the moſt vnhappie call’d,
Who by hir loue, hir woefull loue, had loſt
Hir realme, hir life, and more, the loue of him,
Who while he was, was all hir woes ſupport.
But that ſhe faultles was ſhe did inuoke
For witnes heau’n, and aire, and earth, and ſea.
Then ſent him worde, ſhe was no more aliue,
But lay incloſed dead within hir Tombe.
This he beleeu’d; and fell to ſigh and grone,
And croſt his armes, then thus began to mone.
Ah Antonie! why doſt thou death deferre:
Since Fortune thy profeſſed enimie,
Hath made to die, who only made thee liue?
Sone as with ſighes he had theſe words vp clos’d,
His armor he vnlaſte, and caſt it of,
Then all diſarm’d he thus againe did ſay:
My Queene, my heart, the grief that now I feele,
Is not that I your eies, my Sunne, do looſe,
For ſoone againe one Tombe ſhal vs conioyne:
I grieue, whom men ſo valorouſe did deeme,
Should now, then you, of leſſer valor ſeeme.
So ſaid, forthwith he Eros to him call’d,
Eros his man; ſummond him on his faith
To kill him at his nede. He tooke the ſworde,
And at that inſtant ſtab’d therwith his breaſt,
And ending life fell dead before his fete.
O Eros thankes (quoth Antonie) for this
Moſt noble acte, who pow’rles me to kill,
On thee haſt done, what I on mee ſhould doe.
Of ſpeaking thus he ſcarce had made an ende,
And taken vp the bloudie ſword from ground,But 094 M4v
But he his bodie piers’d; and of redd bloud
A guſhing fountaine all the chamber fill’d.
He ſtaggred at the blowe, his face grew pale,
And on a couche all feeble downe he fell,
Swounding with anguiſh: deadly cold him tooke,
As if his ſoule had then his lodging left.
But he reuiu’d, and marking all our eies
Bathed in teares, and how our breaſts we beatt
For pittie, anguiſh, and for bitter griefe,
To ſee him plong’d in extreame wretchednes:
He prai’d vs all to haſte his lingr’ing death:
But no man willing, each himſelfe withdrew.
Then fell he new to crie and vexe himſelfe,
Vntill a man from Cleopatra came,
Who ſaid from hir he had commaundement
To bring him to hir to the monument.
The poore ſoule at theſe words euen rapt with Ioy
Knowing ſhe liu’d, prai’d vs him to conuey
Vnto his Ladie. Then vpon our armes
We bare him to the Tombe, but entred not.
For ſhe, who feared captiue to be made,
And that ſhe ſhould to Rome in triumph goe,
Kept cloſe the gate: but from a window high
Caſt downe a corde, wherin he was impackt.
Then by hir womens helpt the corps ſhe rais’d,
And by ſtrong armes into hir windowe drew.
So pittifull a ſight was neuer ſene.
Little and little Antonie was pull’d,
Now breathing death: his beard was all vnkempt,
His face and breſt all bathed in his bloud.
So hideous yet, and dieng as he was,
His eies half-clos’d vppon the Queene he caſt:Held 095 N1r
Held vp his hands, and holpe himſelfe to raiſe,
But ſtill with weakenes back his bodie fell.
The miſerable ladie with moiſt eies,
With haire which careles on hir forhead hong,
With breſt which blowes had bloudilie benumb’d,
With ſtooping head, and bodie down-ward bent,
Enlaſt hir in the corde, and with all force
This life-dead man couragiouſly vprais’de.
The bloud with paine into hir face did flowe,
Hir ſinewes ſtiff, her ſelfe did breathles growe.
The people which beneath in flocks beheld,
Aſſiſted her with geſture, ſpeech, deſire:
Cri’de and incourag’d her, and in their ſoules
Did ſweate, and labor, no white leſſe then ſhee.
Who neuer tir’d in labor, held ſo long
Helpt by hir women, and hir conſtant heart,
That Antonie was drawne into the tombe,
And ther (I thinke) of dead augments the ſumme.
The Cittie all to teares and ſighes is turn’d,
To plaints and outcries horrible to heare:
Men, women, childrn, hoary-headed age
Do all pell mell in houſe and ſtrete lament,
Scratching their faces, tearing of their haire,
Wringing their hands, and martyring their breſts.
Extreame their dole: and greater miſery
In ſacked townes can hardlie euer be.
Not if the fire had ſcal’de the higheſt towers:
That all things were of force and murther full;
That in the ſtreets the bloud in riuers ſtream’d;
The ſonne his ſire ſaw in his boſome ſlaine,
The ſire his ſonne: the huſband reft of breath
In his wiues armes, who furious runnes to death.
Now my breſt wounded with their piteouſe plaints
I left their towne, and tooke with me this ſworde,
Which I tooke vp at what time Antonie
Was from his chamber caried to the tombe:
And brought it you, to make his death more plaine,
And that therby my words may credite gaine.
Alas haſt thou this ſword ſo long time borne
Againſt thy foe,, that in the ende it ſhould
Of thee his Lord the curſed murthr’er be?
O Death how I bewaile thee! we (alas!)
So many warres haue ended, brothers, frends,
Companions, coozens, equalls in eſtate:
And muſt it now to kill thee be my fate?
For Antonie why ſpend you teares in vaine?
Why darken you with dole your victorie?
Me ſeemes your ſelf your glorie do enuie.
Enter the towne, giue thankes vnto the Gods.
Although not I, but his owne pride the cause,
And vnchaſte loue of this Ægyptian.
Leſt ſhee conſume in this amazed caſe
So much rich treaſure, with which happelie
Deſpaire in death may make hir feed the fire:
Suffring the flames hir Iewells to deface,
You to defraud, hir funerall to grace.
Sende then to hir, and let ſome meane be vſ’d
With ſome deuiſe ſo holde hir ſtill aliue,
Some faire large promiſes: and let them marke
Whither they may by ſome fine conning ſlightEnter 097 N2r
Enter the tombes.
And fede with hope hir ſoule diſconſolate.
Aſſure hir ſo, that we may wholie gett
Into our hands hir treaſure and hir ſelfe.
For this of all things moſt I doe deſire
To kepe hir ſafe vntill our going hence:
That by hir preſence beautified may be
The glorious triumph Rome prepares for me.
Chorus of Romaine Souldiors.
Shall euer ciuile bate
gnaw and deuour our ſtate?
Shall neuer we this blade,
Our bloud hath bloudie made,
Lay downe? theſe armes downe lay
As robes we weare alway?
But as from age to age,
So paſſe from rage to rage?
Our hands ſhall we not reſt
To bath in our owne breſt?
And ſhall thick in each land
Our wretched trophees ſtand,
To tell poſteritie,
What madd Impietie
Our ſtonie ſtomakes ledd
Againſt the place vs bredd?
Then ſtill muſt heauen view
The plagues that vs purſue:
And euery where deſcrie
Heaps of vs ſcattred lie,N2 Ma- 098 N2v
Making the ſtraunger plaines
Fatt with our bleeding raines,
Proud that on them their graue
So manie legions haue.
And with our fleſhes ſtill
Neptune has fiſhes fill
And dronke with bloud from blue
The ſea take bluſhing hue:
As iuice of Tyrian ſhell,
When clarified well
To wolle of fineſt fields
A purple gloſſe it yelds.
But ſince the rule of Rome,
To one mans hand is come,
Who gouernes without mate
Hir now vnited ſtate,
Late iointlie rulde by three
Whoſe triple yoke much woe
On Latines necks did throwe:
I hope the cauſe of iarre,
And of this bloudie warre,
And deadlie diſcord gone
By what we laſt haue done:
Our banks ſhall cheriſh now
The branchie pale-hew’d bow
Of Oliue, Pallas praiſe,
In ſtede of barraine bayes.
And that his temple dore,
Which bloudie Mars before
Held open, now at laſt
Olde Ianus ſhall make faſt:And 099 N3r
And ruſt the ſword conſume,
And ſpoild of wauing plume,
The vſeles morien ſhall
On crooke hang by the wall.
At leaſt if warre returne
It ſhall not here ſoiourne,
To kill vs with thoſe armes
Were forg’d for others harmes:
But haue their pointes addreſt,
Againſt the Germains breſt,
The Parthians fayned flight,
The Biſcaines martiall might.
Olde Memorie doth there
Painted on forhead weare
Our Fathers praiſe: thence torne
Onur triumphes baies haue worne:
Therby our matchles Romme
Whilome of Shepeheards come
Rais’d to this greatnes ſtands,
The Queene of forraine lands.
Which now euen ſeemes to face
The heau’ns, her glories place:
Nought reſting vnder Skies
That dares affront her eies.
So that ſhe needes but feare
The weapons Ioue doth beare,
Who angrie at one blowe
May her quite ouerthrowe.
Act. 5.Cleopatra. Euphron. Children of Cleopatra. Charmion. Eras.
O cruell Fortune! ô accurſed lott!
O plaguy loue! ô moſt deteſted brand!
O wretched ioyes! ô beauties miſerable!
O deadlie ſtate! ô deadly roialtie!
O hatefull life! ô Queene moſt lamentable!
O Antonie by my fault buriable!
O helliſh worke of heau’n! alas! the wrath
Of all the Gods at once on vs is falne.
Vnhappie Queene! ô would I in this world
The wandring light of day had neuer ſene?
Alas! of mine the plague and poiſon I
The crowne haue loſt my anceſtors me left,
This Realme I haue to ſtraungers ſubiect made,
And robd my children of their heritage.
Yet this is nought (alas!) vnto the price
Of you deare husband, whome my ſnares entrap’d:
Of you, whom I haue plagu’d, whom I haue made
With bloudie hand a gueſt of mouldie Tombe:
Of you, whome I deſtroid, of you; deare Lord,
Whome I of Empire, honor, life haue ſpoil’d.
O hurtfull woman! and can I yet liue,
Yet longer liue in this Ghoſt-haunted tombe?
Can I yet breathe! can yet in ſuch annoy,
Yet can my Soule within this bodie dwell?O 101 N4r
O Siſters you that ſpinne the thredes of death!
O Styx! ô Phlegethon! you brookes of hell!
O Impes of Night!
Let not your death of kingdome them depriue.
Alas what ſhall they do? who will haue care?
Who will preſerue this royall race of yours?
Who pittie take? euen now me ſeemes I ſee
Theſe little ſoules to ſeruile bondage falne,
And borne in triumph.
At their weake backs.
Some cruell caytiue in their bloud embrue.
By fieldes wheron the lonely Ghoſts do treade,
By my ſoule, and the ſoule of Antonie
I you beſeche, Euphron, of them haue care.
Be their good Father, let your wiſedome lett
That they fall not into this Tyrants handes.
Rather conduct them where their freezed locks
Black Æthiopes to neighbour Sunne do ſhewe;
On wauie Ocean at the waters will;
On barraine cliffes of ſnowie Caucaſus;
To Tigers ſwift, to Lions, and to Beares;
And rather, rather vnto euery coaſte,
To eu’rie land and ſea: for nought I feare
As rage of him, whoſe thirſt no bloud can quench.
Adieu deare children, children deare adieu:Good 102 N4v
Good Iſis you to place of ſafetie guide,
Farre from our foes, where you your liues may leade
In free eſtate deuoid of ſeruile dread.
Remember not, my children, you were borne
Of ſuch a Princelie race: remember not
So manie braue Kings which haue Egipt rul’de
In right deſcent your anceſtors haue bene:
That this great Antonie your Father was,
Hercules bloud, and more then he in praiſe.
For your high courage ſuch remembrance will,
Seing your fall with burning rages fill.
Who knowes if that your hands falſe Deſtinie
The Scepters promis’d of imperiouſe Rome,
In ſtede of them ſhall crooked ſhepehookes beare,
Needles or forkes, or guide the carte, or plough?
Ah learne t’endure: your birth and high eſtate
Forget, my babes, and bend to force of fate.
Farwell, my babes, farwell, my hart is clos’de
With pitie and paine, my ſelf with death enclos’de,
My breath doth faile. Farwell for euermore,
Your Sire and me you ſhall ſee neuer more.
Farwell ſwete care, farwell.
I can no more, I die.
And will you yeld to woe? Ah ſpeake to vs.
The Gods ſhall guide vs.
O too hard chaunce! Siſter what ſhall we do,
What ſhall we do, alas! if murthring darte
Of death arriue while that in ſlumbring ſwound
Half dead ſhe lie with anguiſh ouergone?
Leaue vs not thus: bidd you firſt farwell.
Alas! wepe ouer Antonie: Let not
His bodie be without due rites entomb’de.
How curſed am! and was ther euer one
By Fortunes hate into more dolours throwne?
Ah, weeping Niobe, although thy hart
Beholdes it ſelfe enwrap’d in cauſefull woe
For thy dead children, that a ſenceleſſe rocke
With griefe become, on Sipylus thou ſtand’ſt
In endles teares: yet didſt thou neuer feele
The weights of griefe that on my heart do lie.
Thy Children thou, mine I poore ſoule haue loſt,
And loſt their Father, more then them I waile,
Loſt this faire realme; yet me the heauens wrathe
Into a Stone not yet tranſformed hath.
Phaetons ſiſters, daughters of the Sunne,
Which waile your brother falne into the ſtreames
Of ſtately Po: the Gods vpon the bankes
Your bodies to banke-louing Alders turn’d.
For me, I ſigh, I ceaſles wepe, and waile,
And heauen pittiles laughes at my woe,
Reuiues, renewes it ſtill: and in the ende
(Oh crueltie!) doth death for comfort lende.
Die Cleopatra then, no longer ſtay
From Antonie, who thee at Styx attends:
Goe ioine thy Ghoſt with his, and ſobbe no more
Without his loue within theſe tombes enclos’d.
From him our teares, and thoſe laſt duties take
Vnto his tombe we owe.
While moiſture laſts, then die before his feete.
My boiling anguiſh worthilie to waile,
Waile thee Antonie, Antonie my heart?
Alas, how much I weeping liquor want!
Yet haue mine eies quite drawne their Conduits drie
By long beweeping my diſaſtred harmes.
Now reaſon is that from my ſide they ſucke
Firſt vitall moiſture, then the vitall bloud.
Then let the bloud from my ſad eies out flowe,
And ſmoking yet with thine in mixture growe.
Moiſt it, and heate it newe, and neuer ſtopp,
All watring thee, while yet remaines one dropp.
Of all the duties we to thee can yelde,
Before we die.
Take Antony, take them in good parte.
Venus of Paphos, bent to worke vs harme
For olde Iulus broode, if thou take care
Of Cæſar, why of vs tak’ſt thou no care?
Antonie did deſcend, as well as he,
From thine owne Sonne by long enchained line:
And might haue rul’d by one and ſelf ſame fate,
True Troian bloud, the ſtatelie Romain ſtate.
Antonie, poore Antonie, my deare ſoule,
Now but a blocke, the bootie of a tombe,
Thy life, thy heate is loſt, thy coullor gone,
And hideous palenes on thy face hath ſeaz’d.Thy 105 O2r
Thy eies, two Sunnes, the lodging place of loue,
Which yet for tents to warlike Mars did ſerue,
Lock’d vp in lidds (as faire daies cherefull light
Which darkneſſe flies) do winking hide in night.
Antonie by our true loues I thee beſeche,
And by our hearts ſwete ſparks haue ſett on fire,
Our holy mariage, and the tender ruthe
Of our deare babes, knot of our amitie:
My dolefull voice thy eare let entertaine,
And take me with thee to the helliſh plaine,
Thy wife, thy frend: heare Antonie, ô heare
My ſobbing ſighes, if here thou be, or there.
Liued thus long, the winged race of yeares
Ended I haue as Deſtinie decreed,
Flouriſh’d and raign’d, aund taken iuſt reuenge
Of him who me both hated and deſpiſde.
Happie, alas too happie! if of Rome
Only the fleete had hither neuer come.
And now of me an Image great ſhall goe
Vnder the earth to bury there my woe.
What ſay I? where am I? ô Cleopatra,
Poore Cleopatra, griefe thy reaſon reaues.
No, no, moſt happie in this happles caſe,
To die with thee, and dieng thee embrace:
My bodie ioynde with thine, my mouth with thine,
My mouth, whoſe moiſture burning ſighes haue dried:
To be in one ſelfe tombe, and one ſelfe cheſt,
And wrapt with thee in one ſelfe ſheete to reſt.
The ſharpeſt torment in my heart I feele
Is that I ſtaie from thee, my heart, this while.
Die will I ſtraight now, now ſtreight will I die,
And ſtreight with thee a wandring ſhade will be,Vnder 106 O2v
Vnder the Cypres trees thou haunt’ſt alone,
Where brookes of hell do falling ſeeme to mone.
But yet I ſtay, and yet thee ouerliue,
That ere I die due rites I may thee giue.
A thouſand ſobbes I from my breſt will teare,
With thouſand plaints thy funeralles adorne:
My haire ſhall ſerue for thy oblations,
My boiling teares for thy effuſions,
Mine eies thy fire: for but of them the flame
(Which burnt thy heart on me enamour’d) came.
Wepe my companiouns, wepe, and from your eies
Raine downe on him of teares a briniſh ſtreame.
Mine can no more, conſumed by the coales
Which from my breaſt, as from a furnace, riſe.
Martir your breaſts with multiplied blowes,
With violent hands teare of your hanging haire;
Outrage your face: alas! why ſhould we ſeeke
(Since now we die) our beawties more to kepe?
I ſpent in teares, not able more to ſpende,
But kiſſe him now, what reſts me more to doe?
Then lett me kiſſe you, you faire eies, my light,
Front ſeate of honor, face moſt fierce, moſt faire!
O neck, ô armes, ô hands; ô breaſt where death
(Oh miſchief) comes to choake vp vitall breath.
A thouſand kiſſes, thouſand thouſand more
Let you my mouth for honors farewell giue:
That in this office weake my limmes may growe;
Fainting on you, and fourth my ſoule may flowe.
At Ramsburie. 1590-11-1616. of Nouember. 1590.