THE TRANSFORMATION OF LYCON AND EUPHORMIUS.
1 DEEM not, ye plaintive crew, that suffer wrong,
2 Ne thou, O man! who deal'st the tort, misween
3 The equal gods, who heaven's sky-mansions throng,
4 (Though viewless to the eyne they distant sheen)
5 Spectators reckless of our actions been.
6 Turning the volumes of grave sages old,
7 Where auncient saws in fable may be seen,
8 This truth I fond in paynim tale enroll'd;
9 Which for ensample drad my muse shall here unfold.
10 What time Arcadia's flowret vallies fam'd,
11 Pelasgus, first of monarchs old, obey'd,
12 There wonn'd a wight, and Lycon was he nam'd,
13 Unaw'd by conscience, of no gods afraid,
14 Ne justice rul'd his heart, ne mercy sway'd.
15 Some held him kin to that abhorred race,
16 Which heaven's high towers with mad emprize assay'd;
17 And some his cruel lynage did ytrace
18 From fell Erynnis join'd in Pluto's dire embrace.
19 But he, perdy, far other tale did feign,
20 And claim'd alliaunce with the Sisters nine;
21 And deem'd himself (what deems not pride so vain?)
22 The peerless paragon of wit divine.
23 Vaunting that every foe should rue its tine.
24 Right doughty wight! yet, sooth, withouten smart,
25 All powerless fell the losel's shafts malign:
26 'Tis Vertue's arm to wield Wit's heavenly dart,
27 Point its keen barb with force, and send it to the heart.
28 One only impe he had, Pastora hight,
29 Whose sweet amenaunce pleas'd each shepherd's eye:
30 Yet pleas'd she not base Lycon's evil spright,
31 Tho blame in her not Malice moten spy,
32 Clear, without spot, as summer's cloudless sky.
33 Hence poets feign'd, Lycean Pan array'd
34 In Lycon's form, enflam'd with passion high,
35 Deceiv'd her mother in the covert glade,
36 And from the stoln embrace ysprong the heavenly maid.
37 Thus fabling they: mean while the damsel fair
38 A shepherd youth remark'd, as o'er the plain
39 She deffly pac'd elong so debonair:
40 Seem'd she as one of Dian's chosen train.
41 Full many a fond excuse he knew to feign,
42 In sweet converse to while with her the day,
43 'Till love unwares his heedless heart did gain.
44 Nor dempt he, simple wight, no mortal may
45 The blinded god once harbour'd, when he list, foresay.
46 Now much he meditates if yet to speak,
47 And now resolves his passion to conceal:
48 But sure, quoth he, my seely heart will break,
49 If aye I smother what I aye must feel.
50 At length by hope embolden'd to reveal,
51 The labouring secret dropped from his tong.
52 Whiles frequent singults check'd his faltring tale,
53 In modest wise her head Pastora hong:
54 For never maid more chaste inspired shepherd's song.
55 What needs me to recount in long detail
56 The tender parley which these lemans held:
57 How oft he vowed his love her ne'er should fail;
58 How oft the stream from forth her eyne outwell'd,
59 Doubting if constancy yet ever dwell'd
60 In heart of youthful wight: suffice to know,
61 Each rising doubt he in her bosome quell'd.
62 So parted they, more blithsome both, I trow:
63 For rankling love conceal'd, me seems, is deadly woe.
64 Eftsoons to Lycon swift the youth did fare,
65 (Lagg'd ever youth when Cupid urg'd his way?)
66 And straight his gentle purpose did declare,
67 And sooth the mount'naunce of his herds display.
68 Ne Lycon meant his suiten to foresay:
69 "Be thine, Pastora (quoth the masker sly)
70 " And twice two thousand sheep her dower shall pay. "
71 Beat then the lover's heart with joyaunce high;
72 Ne dempt that aught his bliss could now betray,
73 Ne guess'd that foul deceit in Lycon's bosome lay.
74 So forth he yode to seek his reverend sire;
75 (The good Euphormius shepherds him did call)
76 How sweet Pastora did his bosome fire,
77 Her worth, her promis'd flocks, he tolden all.
78 Ah! nere, my son, let Lycon thee enthrall,
79 (Reply'd the sage, in wise experience old)
80 "Smooth is his tongue, but full of guile withal,
81 " In promise faithless, and in vaunting bold:
82 "Ne ever lamb of his will bleat within thy fold."
83 With words prophetick thus Euphormius spake:
84 And fact confirm'd what wisdom thus foretold:
85 Full many a mean devise did Lycon make,
86 The hoped day of spousal to with-hold,
87 Framing new trains when nought mote serve his old.
88 Nath'less he vow'd, Cyllene, cloud-topt hill,
89 Should sooner down the lowly delve be roll'd,
90 Than he his plighted promise nould fulfill:
91 But when, perdy, or where, the caitive sayen nill.
92 Whiles thus the tedious suns had journey'd round,
93 Ne ought mote now the lovers hearts divide,
94 Ne trust was there, ne truth in Lycon found;
95 The maid with matron Juno for her guide,
96 The youth by Concord led, in secret hy'd
97 To Hymen's sacred fane: the honest deed
98 Each god approv'd, and close the bands were ty'd.
99 Certes, till happier moments should succeed,
100 No prying eyne they ween'd their emprize mote areed.
101 But prying eyne of Lycon 'twas in vain
102 (Right practick in disguise) to hope beware.
103 He trac'd their covert steps to Hymen's fane,
104 And joy'd to find them in his long-laid snare.
105 Algates, in semblaunt ire, he 'gan to swear,
106 And roaren loud as in displeasaunce high;
107 Then out he hurlen forth his daughter fair,
108 Forelore, the houseless child of Misery,
109 Expos'd to killing cold, and pinching penury.
110 Ah! whither now shall sad Pastora wend,
111 To want abandon'd and by wrongs opprest?
112 Who shall the wretched out-cast's teen befriend?
113 Live's mercy then, if not in parent's breast?
114 At Jove's right hand, to Jove for ever dear,
115 Yes, MERCY lives, the gentle goddess blest,
116 Aye at his feet she pleads the cause distrest,
117 To Sorrow's plaints she turns his equal ear,
118 And wafts to heaven's star-throne fair Vertue's silent tear.
119 'Twas SHE that bade Euphormius quell each thought
120 That well mote rise to check his generous aid.
121 Tho high the torts which Lycon him had wrought,
122 Tho few the flocks his humble pastures fed,
123 When as he learn'd Pastora's hapless sted,
124 His breast humane with wonted pity flows.
125 He op'd his gates, the naked exile led
126 Beneath his roof: a decent drapet throws
127 O'er her cold limbs, and sooths her undeserved woes.
128 Now loud-tongu'd Rumor bruited round the tale:
129 Th' astonied swains uneath could credence give,
130 That in Arcadia's unambitious vale
131 A faytor false as Lycon e'er did live.
132 But Jove (who in high heaven does mortals prive,
133 And every deed in golden ballance weighs)
134 To earth his flaming charret baden drive,
135 And down descends, enwrapt in peerless blaze,
136 To deal forth guerdon meet to good and evil ways.
137 Where Eurymmanthus, crown'd with many a wood,
138 His silver stream through dasy'd vales does lead,
139 Stretch'd on the flowery marge, in reckless mood,
140 Proud Lycon sought by charm of jocund reed
141 To lull the dire remose of tortious deed.
142 Him Jove accosts, in reverend semblaunce dight
143 Of good Euphormius, and 'gan mild areed
144 Of compact oft confirm'd, of say yplight,
145 Of nature's tender tye, of sacred rule of right.
146 With lofty eyne, half loth to look so low,
147 Him Lycon view'd, and with swol'n surquedry
148 'Ganrudely treat his sacred eld: When now
149 Forth stood the God confest that rules the sky,
150 In sudden sheen of drad divinity:
151 "And know, false man," the lord of thunders said,
152 "Not unobserv'd by heaven's all-persent eye
153 " Thy cruel deeds: nor shall be unappay'd:
154 "Go! be in form that best beseems thy thews, array'd."
155 Whiles yet he spake th' affrayed trembling wight
156 Transmew'd to blatant beast, with hideous howl
157 Rush'd headlong forth, in well-deserved plight,
158 Mid'st dragons, minotaurs, and fiends to prowl,
159 A wolf in form as erst a wolf in soul!
160 To Pholoë, forest wild, he hy'd away,
161 The horrid haunt of savage monsters soul.
162 There helpless innocence is still his prey,
163 Thief of the bleating fold, and shepherd's dire dismay.
164 Tho Jove to good Euphormius' cot did wend,
165 Where peaceful dwelt the man of virtue high,
166 Each shepherd's praise and eke each shepherd's friend,
167 In every act of sweet humanity.
168 Him Jove approaching in mild majesty,
169 Grected all hail! then bade him join the throng
170 Of glit'rand lights that gild the glowing sky.
171 There shepherds nightly view his orb yhong,
172 Where bright he shines eterne, the brightest stars emong.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): THE TRANSFORMATION OF LYCON AND EUPHORMIUS.
Author: William Melmoth
Themes: love; mythology
Genres: alexandrine; Spenserian stanza; imitation
References: DMI 32503
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