Softly gliding as I go,
With this burthen full of woe,
Through still silence of the night,
Guided by the glow-worm's light,
Hither am I come at last.
Many a thicket have I past;
Not a twig that durst deny me,
Not a bush that durst descry me
To the little bird that sleeps
On the tender spray; nor creeps
That hardy worm with pointed tail,
But if I be under sail,
Flying faster than the wind,
Leaving all the clouds behind,
But doth hide her tender head
In some hollow tree, or bed
Of seeded nettles; not a hare
Can be started from his fare
By my footing; nor a wish
Is more sudden, nor a fish
Can be found with greater ease
Cut the vast unbounded seas,
Leaving neither print nor sound,
Than I, when nimbly on the ground
I measure many a league an hour.
But, behold, the happy power
That must ease me of my charge,
And by holy hand enlarge
The soul of this sad man, that yet
Lies fast bound in deadly fit:
Heaven and great Pan succour it!
Hail, thou beauty of the bower,
Whiter than the paramour
Of my master! Let me crave
Thy virtuous help, to keep from grave
This poor mortal, that here lies,
Waiting when the Destinies
Will undo his thread of life:
View the wound, by cruel knife
Trenched into him.
I am the Satyr that did fill
Your lap with early fruit; and will,
When I hap to gather more,
Bring you better and more store.
Yet I come not empty now:
See, a blossom from the bough;
But beshrew his heart that pulled it,
And his perfect sight that culled it
From the other springing blooms!
For a sweeter youth the grooms
Cannot show me, nor the downs,
Nor the many neighbouring towns.
Low in yonder glade I found him;
Softly in mine arms I bound him;
Hither have I brought him sleeping
In a trance, his wounds fresh weeping,
In remembrance such youth may
Spring and perish in a day.
Satyr, they wrong thee that do term thee rude;
Though thou be'st outward-rough and tawny-hued,
Thy manners are as gentle and as fair
As his who brags himself born only heir
To all humanity. Let me see the wound:
This herb will stay the current, being bound
Fast to the orifice, and this restrain
Ulcers and swellings, and such inward pain
As the cold air hath forced into the sore;
This to draw out such putrefying gore
As inward falls.
Fairly wipe awry the blood:
Hold him gently, till I fling
Water of a virtuous spring
On his temples; turn him twice
To the moonbeams; pinch him thrice;
That the labouring soul may draw
From his great eclipse.
That erst was empty! O my heart!
My dearest, dearest Cloe! Oh, the smart
Runs through my side! I feel some pointed thing
Pass through my bowels, sharper than the sting
Pan, preserve me!What are you?
Do not hurt me: I am true
To my Cloe, though she fly
And leave me to this destiny:
There she stands, and will not lend
Her smooth white hand to help her friend.
But I am much mistaken, for that face
Bears more austerity and modest grace,
More reproving and more awe,
Than these eyes yet ever saw
In my Cloe. Oh, my pain
Eagerly renews again!
Give me your help for his sake you love best.
Shepherd, thou canst not possibly take rest,
Till thou hast laid aside all heats, desires,
Provoking thoughts that stir up lusty fires,
Commerce with wanton eyes, strong blood, and will
To execute; these must be purged until
The vein grow whiter; then repent, and pray
Great Pan to keep you from the like decay,
And I shall undertake your care with ease;
Till when, this virtuous plaster will displease
Your tender sides. Give me your hand, and rise!
Help him a little, Satyr; for his thighs
Yet are feeble.
Shepherd, see, what comes of kissing;
By my head, 'twere better missing.
Brightest, if there be remaining
Any service, without feigning
I will do it; were I set
To catch the nimble wind, or get
Shadows gliding on the green,
Or to steal from the great queen
Of fairies all her beauty;
I would do it, so much duty
Do I owe those precious eyes.
I will; and when the weather
Serves to angle in the brook,
I will bring a silver hook,
With a line of finest silk,
And a rod as white as milk,
To deceive the little fish:
So I take my leave, and wish
On this bower may ever dwell
Spring and summer!