Cowley, Abraham . The Third Part of the Works of Mr. Abraham Cowley Being his Six Books of Plants
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

| Table of Contents for this work |
| All on-line databases | Etext Center Homepage |

ROSEMARY. Touching the bite of the Tarantula. 65

DAunian Arachne! who spinn'st all the day, 66
Nor to Minerva will't ev'n yet give way;
Whilst thy own bowels thou to Lawn dost weave,
What pleasure canst thou from such pains receive?
Why thy sad hours in such base deeds dost spill,
Or do things so ridiculously ill?       [Latin: 960]
Why dost thou take delight to stop our breath,
Or act the serious sports of cruel Death.
Whom thou scarce touchest straight to rave he's found,
He raves although he hardly feels thy wound.
One Atome of thy Poison in the veins,
Dominion soon o'r all the body gains.       1040
Within upon the Soul her self it preys,
Which it distracts a thousand cruel ways.
One's silent, whilst another roars aloud;
He's fearful, t'other fights with th'gazing crowd.
This cryes, and this his sides with laughter shakes,
A thousand habits this same Fury takes.
But all with love of Dancing are possest,
All day and night they dance and never rest.
As soon as Musick from struck strings rebounds,
Or the full Pipes breath forth their Magick sounds;
The stiff old Woman straight begins a Round,
And the Lethargick Sleeper quits the ground.
The poor lame Fellow, though he cannot prance
So nimbly as the rest, he hops a Dance.
The old Man, whom this merry Poison fires,
Satyrs themselves with dancing almost tires.
To such a sad, phrenetick Dance as this
A Siren, sure, the fittest Minstrel is.       [Latin: 980]
Cruel Distemper! thy wild fury proves
Worst Master of the Revels which it loves:       1060
When this sad Pyrrhick measure they begin, 67
Ah! what a weight hangs on their hearts within.
Tell me, Physicians! which way shall I ease
Poor mortals of this strange, unknown disease?
For me may Phoebus never more protect
(Whose Godhead you and I so much respect)
If I know any more (to tell you true)
Whence this dire mischief springs, than one of you.
But to the heart (you know it) and the brain,
Those distant Provinces, in which I reign,
(To you, my friends, I no false stories feign.)
Auxiliary troops of Spirits I
Send, and the Camp with fresh Recruits supply.
Many kind Plants besides Me to the War
Attend, nor blush that under me they Soldiers are.
The merry Baum, and Rue which Serpents kills,
Cent'ry, and Saffron from Cilician Hills,
And thou, kind Birthwort, whose auspicious Name
From thy good deeds to teeming Women came.
The kind Pomegranate also does engage,       1080
With her bright Arms, and my dear Sister Sage.       [Latin: 1000]
Berries of Laurel, Myrtle, Tamarisk,
Ivy nor Juniper are very brisk.
Lavender, and sweet Marjoram march away,
Sothernwood and Angelica don't stay.
Plantain, the Thistle which they Blessed call,
And useful Wormwood in their order fall,
Then Carrot, Anise, and white Cumin seed,
With Gith, that pretty, chast, black Rogue, proceed.
Next Vipers-grass a Plant but lately known,
And Tormentil and Roses red, full blown;
To which I Garlick may and Onions join;
All these to fight I lead; go, give the sign.
With indignation I am vex'd, and hate
Soft Musick that great praise shou'd arrogate.
Poets will say, 'tis true (they're given to lye)
Willing their Mistris so to gratifie.
But food I say it does, not Physick, prove
To madmen (witness, all that are in Love!)
She to a short-liv'd folly does supply       1100
Constant additions of new vanity;
And here (to shew her Wit and Courage too)
Flatters the Tyrant, whom she shou'd subdue.
It is the greatest part of the Disease,
That she does so immoderately please,       [Latin: 1020]
'Tis part of the Disease, that so they throw
And toss themselves, which does for Physick go;
This Plague it self is plagu'd so night and day
That tir'd with labour it flies quite away.
I also lend an hand, to ease her grief,
When from her own strength Nature seeks relief.
'Tis something that I do; but truly I
Think the Disease is its own Remedy.


[65] An Insect of the Spider-kind.


[66] A Nimph turn'd into a Spider.


[67] A heavy sort of Dancing in armour.