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AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN.
Here never yet did browze the wanton ewe,
Nor from his plot the slow ox lick the dew.
The savage goat that feeds among the rocks,
Hath not graz'd here, nor any of their flocks.
Hence the Dardanian walls I might espy,
The lofty towers of Ilium reared high.
Hence I the seas might from the firm land see,
Which to behold, I lean'd me on a tree.
Believe me, for I speak but what is true,
Down from the sky, with feather'd pinions, flew
The nephew to great ATLAS, and doth stand,
With golden CADUCEUS in his hand.
This, as the gods to me thought good to shew,
I hold it good that you the same should know.
Three goddesses behind
Great JUNO, PALLAS, and the queen of Love;
Who as in pomp and pride of gait they pass,
Scarce with their weight they bend the tops of
Amaz'd I start, and endlong stands my hair,
When MAIA's son thus says; Abandon fear,
Thou courteous swain, that to these groves repairest,
And freely judge which of these three is fairest.
And lest I should this curious sentence shun,
He tells me by Jove's sentence all is done;
And to be judge, I no way can eschew.
This having said, up thro' the air he flew.
I strait took heart-a-grace, and grew more bold;
And there their beauties one by one behold.
AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN.
Why am I made the judge to give this doom?
Methinks all three are worthy to o'ercome.
To injure two such beauties what tongue dare?
Or prefer one, where they be all so fair?
Now this seems fairest, now again that other;
Now would I speak, and now my thoughts I smother :
And yet at length the praise of one most sounded,
And from that one my present love is grounded.
The goddesses, out of their earnest care,
And pride of beauty to be held most fair,
Seek, with large alms, and gifts of wond'rous price,
To their own thoughts my censure to entice.
JUNO the wife of Jove doth first enchant me;
To judge her fairest, she a, crown will grant me.
Pallas, her daughter, next doth undertake me;
Give her the prize, and valiant she will make me.
I strait devise which can most pleasure bring,
To be a valiant soldier, or a king.
Last VENUS smiling, came with such a grace,
As if she sway'd an empire in her face:
Let not (said she) these gifts the conquest bear,
Combats and kingdoms are both fraught with fear.
I'll give thee what thou lov'st best (lovely swain)
The fairest saint that doth on earth remain
Shall be thine own: make thou the conquest mine,
Fair LŒDA's fairest daughter shall be thine.
This said, when with myself I had devised,
And her rich gift and beauty jointly prized;
Why am I made the judge, to give this doom, Methinks all three are worthy to dercome.
AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO Helen.
VENUS, the victor o'er the rest is plac'd,
JUNO and PALLAS leave the mount disgrac'd.
Mean time my fate a prosperous course had run,
And by known signs king PRIAM call'd me son.
The day of my restoring is kept holy
Among the saints days, consecrated solely
To my remembrance, being a day of joy
For ever in the calendars of Troy.
As I wish you, I had been wish'd by others;
The fairest maids by me would have been mothers :
Of all my favours, I bestow'd not any,
You only may enjoy the loves of many.
Nor by the daughters of great dukes and kings,
Have I alone been sought, whose marriage rings
I have turn'd back; but by a strain more high,
By nymphs and fairies, such as never die.
No sooner were you promis'd as my due,
But I all hated, to remember you;
Waking, I saw your image; if I dreamt,
Your beauteous figure still appear'd to tempt, And urge this voyage; still your face excelling, These eyes beheld my dreams were all of HELEN. Imagine how your face should now incite me, Being seen, that unseen did so much delight me. If I was scorch'd so far off from the fire,
How am I burnt to cinders thus much nigher!