The metamorphosis of Pigmalions image And certaine satyres.
Marston, John, 1575?-1634.
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PIgmalion, whose hie loue-hating minde
Disdain'd to yeeld seruile affection,
Or amorous sute to any woman-kinde,
Knowing their wants, and mens perfection.
Yet Loue at length forc'd him to know his fate,
And loue the shade, whose substance he did hate.
For hauing wrought in purest Iuorie,
So faire an Image of a Womans feature,
That neuer yet proudest mortalitie
Could show so rare and beautious a creature.
(Vnlesse my Mistres all-excelling face,
Which giues to beautie, beauties onely grace.)
Hee was amazed at the wondrous rarenesse
Of his owne workmanships perfection.
He thought that Nature nere produc'd such fairenes
In which all beauties haue their mantion.
And thus admiring, was enamored
On that fayre Image himselfe portraied.
And naked as it stood before his eyes,
Imperious Loue declares his Deitie.
O what alluring beauties he descries
In each part of his faire imagery!
Her nakednes, each beauteous shape containes.
All beautie in her nakednes remaines.
He thought he saw the blood run through the vaine
And leape, and swell with all alluring meanes:
Then feares he is deceiu'd, and then againe,
He thinks he see'th the brightnes of the beames
Which shoote from out the fairenes of her eye:
At which he stands as in an extasie.
Her Amber-coloured, her shining haire,
Makes him protest, the Sunne hath spread her head
With golden beames, to make her farre more faire.
But whē her cheeks his amorous thoughts haue fed,
Then he exclaimes, such redde and so pure white,
Did neuer blesse the eye of mortall sight.
Then view's her lips, no lips did seeme so faire
In his conceit, through which he thinks doth flie
So sweet a breath, that doth perfume the ayre.
Then next her dimpled chin he doth discry,
And views, and wonders, and yet view's her still.
"Loues eyes in viewing neuer haue their fill.
Her breasts, like polisht Iuory appeare,
Whose modest mount, doe blesse admiring eye,
And makes him wish for such a Pillowbeare.
Thus fond Pigmalion striueth to discry
Each beauteous part, not letting ouer-slip
One parcell of his curious workmanship.
Vntill his eye discended so farre downe
That it descried Loues pauillion:
Where Cupid doth enioy his onely crowne,
And Venus hath her chiefest mantion:
There would be winke, & winking looke againe,
Both eies & thoughts would gladly there remaine.
Who euer saw the subtile Citty-dame
In sacred church, whē her pure thoughts shold pray,
Peire through her fingers, so to hide her shame,
When that her eye her mind would faine bewray.
So would he view, and winke, and view againe,
A chaster thought could not his eyes retaine.
He wondred that she blusht not when his eye
Saluted those same parts of secrecie:
Conceiting not it was imagerie
That kindly yeelded that large libertie.
O that my Mistres were an Image too,
That I might blameles her perfections view.
But when the faire proportion of her thigh
Began appeare. O Ouid would he cry,
Did ere Corinna show such Iuorie
When she appear'd in Venus liuorie?
And thus enamour'd, dotes on his owne Art
Which he did work, to work his pleasing smart.
And fondly doting, oft he kist her lip.
Oft would he dally with her Iuory breasts.
No wanton loue-trick would he ouer-slip,
But still obseru'd all amorous beheasts.
Whereby he thought he might procure the loue
Of his dull Image, which no plaints coulde moue.
Looke how the peeuish Papists crouch, and kneele
To some dum Idoll with their offering,
As if a senceles carued stone could feele
The ardor of his bootles chattering,
So fond he was, and earnest in his sute
To his remorsles Image, dum and mute.
He oft doth wish his soule might part in sunder
So that one halfe in her had residence:
Oft he exclaimes, ô beauties onely wonder,
Sweet modell of delight, faire excellence,
Be gracious vnto him that formed thee,
Compassionate his true-loues ardencie.
She with her silence, seemes to graunt his sute.
Then he all iocund like a wanton louer,
With amorous embracements doth salute
Her slender wast, presuming to discouer
The vale of Loue, where Cupid doth delight
To sport, and dally all the sable night.
His eyes, her eyes, kindly encountered,
His breast, her breast, oft ioyned close vnto,
His armes embracements oft she suffered,
Hands, armes, eyes, tongue, lips, and all parts did woe.
His thigh, with hers, his knee playd with her knee,
A happy consort when all parts agree.
But when he saw poore soule he was deceaued,
(Yet scarce he could beleeue his sence had failed)
Yet when he found all hope from him bereaued,
And saw how fondly all his thoughts had erred,
Then did he like to poore Ixion seeme,
That clipt a cloud in steede of heauens Queene.
I oft haue smil'd to see the foolery
Of some sweet Youths, who seriously protest
That Loue respects not actuall Luxury,
But onely ioy's to dally, sport, and iest:
Loue is a child, contented with a toy,
A busk-point, or some sauour still's the boy.
Marke my Pigmalion, whose affections ardor
May be a mirror to posteritie.
Yet viewing, touching, kissing, (common fauour,)
Could neuer satiat his loues ardencie:
And therefore Ladies, thinke that they nere loue you,
Who doe not vnto more then kissing moue you.
For my Pigmalion kist, viewd, and imbraced,
And yet exclaimes, why were these women made
O sacred Gods, and with such beauties graced?
Haue they not power as well to coole, and shade,
As for to heate mens harts? or is there none
Or are they all like mine? relentlesse stone.
With that he takes her in his louing armes,
And downe within a Downe-bed softly layd her.
Then on his knees he all his sences charmes,
To inuocate sweet Venus for to raise her
To wished life, and to infuse some breath,
To that which dead, yet gaue a life to death.
Thou sacred Queene of sportiue dallying,
(Thus he begins,) Loues onely Emperesse,
Whose kingdome rests in wanton reuelling,
Let me beseech thee show thy powerfulnesse
In changing stone to flesh, make her relent,
And kindly yeeld to thy sweet blandishment,
O gracious Gods, take compassion.
Instill into her some celestiall fire,
That she may equalize affection,
And haue a mutuall loue, and loues desire.
Thou know'st the force of loue, then pitty me,
Compassionate my true loues ardencie.
Thus hauing said, he riseth from the floore,
As if his soule diuined him good fortune,
Hoping his prayers to pitty moou'd some power.
For all his thoughts did all good luck importune.
And therefore straight he strips him naked quite.
That in the bedde he might haue more delight.
Then thus, Sweet sheetes he sayes, which nowe doe couer,
The Idol of my soule, the fairest one
That euer lou'd, or had an amorous louer.
Earths onely modell of perfection,
Sweet happy sheetes, daine for to take me in,
That I my hopes and longing thoughts may win.
With that his nimble limbs doe kisse the sheetes,
And now he bowes him for to lay him downe,
And now each part, with her faire parts doe meet,
Now doth he hope for to enioy loues crowne:
Now doe they dally, kisse, embrace together,
Like Leda's Twins at sight of fairest weather.
Yet all's conceit. But shadow of that blisse
Which now my Muse striues sweetly to display
In this my wondrous metamorphosis.
Daine to beleeue me, now I sadly say.
The stonie substance of his Image feature,
Was straight transform'd into a liuing creature.
For when his hands her faire form'd limbs had felt,
And that his armes her naked wast imbraced,
Each part like Waxe before the sunne did melt,
And now, oh now, he finds how he is graced
By his owne worke. Tut, women will relent
When as they finde such mouing blandishment.
Doe but conceiue a Mothers passing gladnes,
(After that death her onely sonne hath seazed
And ouerwhelm'd her soule with endlesse sadnes)
When that she sees him gin for to be raised
From out his deadly swoune to life againe:
Such ioy Pigmalion feeles in euery vaine.
And yet he feares he doth but dreaming find
So rich content, and such celestiall blisse.
Yet when he proues & finds her wondrous kind,
Yeelding soft touch for touch, sweet kisse, for kisse,
He's well assur'd no faire imagery
Could yeeld such pleasing, loues felicity.
O wonder not to heare me thus relate,
And say to flesh transformed was a stone.
Had I my Loue in such a wished state
As was afforded to Pigmalion,
Though flinty hard, of her you soone should see
As strange a transformation wrought by mee.
And now me thinks some wanton itching eare
With lustfull thoughts, and ill attention,
List's to my Muse, expecting for to heare
The amorous discription of that action
Which Venus seekes, and euer doth require,
When fitnes graunts a place to please desire.
Let him conceit but what himselfe would doe
When that he had obtayned such a fauour,
Of her to whom his thoughts were bound vnto,
If she, in recompence of his loues labour,
Would daine to let one payre of sheets containe
The willing bodies of those louing twaine.
Could he, oh could he, when that each to eyther
Did yeeld kind kissing and more kind embracing,
Could he when that they felt, and clip▪t together
And might enioy the life of dallying,
Could he abstaine midst such a wanton sporting
From doing that, which is not fit reporting?
What would he doe when that her softest skin
Saluted his with a delightfull kisse?
When all things fit for loues sweet pleasuring
Inuited him to reape a Louers blisse?
What he would doe, the selfe same action
Was not neglected by Pigmalion.
For when he found that life had tooke his seate
Within the breast of his kind beauteous loue,
When that he found that warmth, and wished heate
Which might a Saint and coldest spirit moue,
Thē arms, eyes, hands, tong, lips, & wanton thigh,
Were willing agents in Loues luxurie.
Who knowes not what ensues? O pardon me
Yee gaping eares that swallow vp my lines
Expect no more. Peace idle Poesie,
Be not obsceane though wanton in thy rimes.
And chaster thoughts, pardon if I doe trip,
Or if some loose lines from my pen doe slip,
Let this suffice, that that same happy night
So gracious were the Gods of marriage
Mid'st all there pleasing and long wish'd delight
Paphus was got: of whom in after age
Cyrus was Paphos call'd, and euermore
Those Ilandars do Venus name adore.