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
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THen Chian Mastick thus began; said she,
This sutes not with this opportunity.
To Fishes (Sister) do whate'r you please,
Depopulate and poison all the Seas.
This let that Herb beware, who back again 760
Made Glaucus fishes bounce into the Main, [image]
Which with new forms the watery World supplies, 110
And changes Men into Sea-Deities.
But these are trifles; since curs'd Savin here
Dares in a throng of pious Plants appear;
She, who the Altares of the Womb prophanes,
And deep in bloud that living Temple stains.
Impatient to be wicked she destroys
The naked hopes of thousand future Boys. [Latin: 740]
'Tis one of Wars extream and greatest harms,
To snatch an Infant from his Mothers Arms.
But here the Womb (oh strange!) close shut and barr'd,
The Mothers very bowels are no guard.
Whilst Poisons onely in a civil rage,
And lingring Ills the Step-dames hands engage.
Oh! simple Colchis, rude and ignorant,
Who the new Arts of wickedness dost want!
Medea, Savin knows a better way
Than thy Medea Children to destroy. [image]
Thou, Progne! know'st not how revenge to take, [image] 780
Let Itys live; thy stay amends will make.
Lie with thy Husband, though against thy will,
Let thy swell'd Womb with hopes fierce Tereus fill.
When you are ripe for hate, let Savin come,
And dress the fatal Banquet in your Womb.
The reeking bits let thy curst Husband take,
And meat of thine and his own bowels make.
Abortion, caus'd for spite's a generous crime,
Th'effect of pleasure at the present time. [Latin: 760]
Officious Savin is at the Expence
Of so much Wit and so much Diligence;
To make the lewdest Whore most chast appear,
That of her crimes, no token she may wear.
To make her lechery frugal, and provide
That thy apartment, Lust ben't made too wide.
The wrinkles from her belly to remove,
Which with disgrace, may her a Mother prove.
If Men shou'd all conspire with such a Plant,
The whole World soon Inhabitants wou'd want.
You then the Brutes alone in vain wou'd see, 800
And no employment for your Art wou'd be.
But you, who scatch the rapid, wheeling Days,
And Fate beguile with Art and sweet delays;
You, verdant Constellations here below,
To whom their birth and fate all Mortals owe;
Do you take care this tree-like Hag to burn,
Who makes the Womb the Infants living Urn.
Let Natures mortal Foe receive her doom,
And with moist Laurel purge the tainted room [Latin: 780]
Or let her live in Crete, her native home,
And with her Virtues purge Pasiphäes womb.
There two miscarriages she might ha' made
At once; Oh! prize, now never to be had!
But I suppose she never wou'd tha' torn,
Or kept that hopeful Monster from being born; 111
For seven Boys, shose death to her was dear,
That Half-man was to swallow e'ery year. [image]
Hast, Savin! home to Crete; we won't complain,
Though Ditt'ny too with Thee return again.
At this they were divided; and the sound 820
Of various murmurs flew the Court around.
Whilst sharp'ned leaves did Savin's anger show
As when a Lion bristles at his Foe.
Those three degrees of heat which she before
From Nature had, her anger now made four.
 Concerning Glaucus his Fishes, see Ovid. Met., lib. 13. fab. ult..
 The Minotaur.