[Nereides:] Eclogue I.
* Glaucus was a Fisherman, who by eating a certain Herb is feign'd to have been chang'd into a Sea-God. Glaucus, you were once a fishing Swain,
2 Till urg'd by potent Herbs you left the Plain;
3 That you were bred on Earth, you fully prove,
4 And thence you know to feign deceitful Love. [Page 2]
5 But think, Ingrate, when first you hither came,
6 How strange you look'd, how awkwardly you swam.
7 When artless first you try'd the unknown Sea,
8 I taught you how to plow the liquid way;
9 I show'd you all the Secrets of the Deep,
10 And vaulted Rocks where weary Tritons sleep.
11 I show'd you Islands yet unknown to Men,
12 Where wanton Nereids meet, and sport unseen.
13 Oft have I wound in Plaits the yielding Reed,
14 And plac'd the well-wrought Garland on your Head.
15 Oft have I choicest Fish with Labour caught,
16 And the sweet Prey to you a Present brought.
17 To me in vain love-sick Palæmon cry'd,
18 While I regardless past with sullen Pride;
19 Oft the kind Youth would near Cymothoe swim,
20 And fondly ask, if I would bath with him.
21 Yet you, an Earth-born Wretch, ungrateful prove,
22 No more Cymothoe, but Cyano love;[Page 3]
23 Blue-ey'd Cyano love, that matchless Fair,
24 Tho' flat her Nose, and thin her falling Hair;
25 The Nymph, whom most despise, and none admire,
26 Glaucus alone pursues with fond Desire.
27 Since then I am (too credulous) betray'd,
28 I'll live no more a wretched worthless Maid;
29 Since you are false, I'll leave the hated Sea,
30 And yield my self to Fishermen a Prey.
31 I shall on Shore be as a Monster shown,
32 And trumpeted for Pence thro' ev'ry Town,
33 While you well-pleas'd with lov'd Cyano toy,
34 And in some conscious Cliff the beauteous Nymph enjoy.
35 Thus sadly plaining fond Cymothoe said,
36 And Glaucus thus appeas'd the angry Maid.
37 Cymothoe wrongs her Glaucus, and her self,
38 To think I languish for that scaly Elf.
39 The wanton Nymph indeed has often strove
40 To bribe my Service, and engage my Love,[Page 4]
41 With Gifts of shining Pearls, and thought to please
42 With coral Twigs, and fragrant Ambergriese;
43 But still I sought the trifling Maid to shun;
44 (Your Love preserves what first your Beauty won)
45 Nor shall I e'er that happy Time forget,
46 When first I left my Boat, and Fishing-Net;
47 And how you taught me artfully to swim,
48 To dive for Pearls, and steepy Rocks to climb;
49 You taught to hunt the Shark, and boldly stride
50 The flouncing Horse, and quell his foamy Pride.
51 Believe not, Fair, that I can prove untrue,
52 Or any Water-Beauty love, but you.
53 No, first the Waves shall lose their biting Salts,
54 The Winds shall cease to sound in hollow Vaults,
55 And wanton Fish shall leave their native Seas,
56 And bask on Earth, or browze on leavy Trees.
57 If Glaucus will be kind, and constant prove,
58 Let us review those Scenes of former Love,[Page 5]
59 And sink embracing to th'Abyss below,
60 Where spiry Herbs, and lovely Coral grow;
61 The Ocean has its Groves, and gloomy Shades,
62 And chrystal Springs below, and cooling Glades.
63 Fond you once thought that nothing here cou'd please,
64 But we have fairer Meads, and taller Trees
65 Than you on Sun-burnt, sapless Earth cou'd boast,
66 Whose fading Beauties are too quickly lost.
67 The Glories of their Spring are soon defac'd
68 By miry Storms, and tost by ev'ry Blast.
69 But see, the Birds in noisy Troops are join'd,
70 I hear the distant Murmurs of the Wind.
71 The Vapours into dark Confusion blend,
72 And will e'er long in sudden Spouts descend.
73 The angry Waves begin their uncouth Noise,
74 And teeming Clouds bring down the falling Skies.
75 Hast then, my Glaucus, to those peaceful Meads
76 And reedy Plains, where hoary Phorcys feeds[Page 6]
77 His numerous Herds; where neither Storms nor Rain
78 Molest the Trees, nor incommode the Swain;
79 Where unmixt Waters are as Chrystal clear,
80 And warm as Summer glooms, and fine as Air.
81 A faintish Light shines thro' the watry Green,
82 And lets us see enough, but — not be seen,
83 The spangl'd Glories of the Plain reveals
84 With Pebbles checquer'd, and with Azure Shells.
85 Dive, Glaucus, swift, and let us sinking move
86 Down to the Center of the World, and — Love.