Narcissus Part 5


[_Cep._] Open thine eares, my sonne, open I bidd To heare the sound saw which the sage shall reed, I meane the sage Tyresias, my ducke, Which shall lay ope to thee thy lott, thy lucke.

Thy father I, Cephisus, that brave river [140]

Who is all water, doe like water shiver.

As any man of iudgment may descrye By face, hands washt, & bowle, thy father I.

_Lyr._ And I thy mother nimphe, as may bee seene By coulours that I weare, blew, white, & greene; For nimphes ar of the sea, & sea is right Of colour truly greene & blew & white; Would you knowe how, I pray? Billowes are blew, Water is greene, & foome is white of hue.

_Cep._ Wee both bidd the, Narcisse, our dearest child, [150]

With count'nance sober, modest lookes & milde, To prophett's wisest woords with tention harken; [F. 79r rev.]

But Sunne is gonne & welkin gins to darken, Vulcan the weary horses is a shooinge, While Phebus with queene Thetis is a doinge: Prophett comes not, letts goe both all & some, Wee may goe home like fooles as wee did come.

_Lyr._ O stay deare husband, flowe not away bright water, The prophett will come by sooner or later.

_Cep._ Why stand wee heere, as it were cappes a thrumming, [160]

To look for prophett? Prophett is not comminge.

_Nar._ Sweete running river which Cephisus hight, Whose water is so cleare, whose waves so bright, Gold is thy sand and christall is thy current, Thy brooke so cleare that no vile wind dare stirre in't; Thou art my father, & thou, sweetest nimphe, Thou art my mother, I thy sonne, thy shrimpe.

Agree you in one point, to goe or tarrye, Narcissus must obey, aye, must hee, marye.

_Cep._ Gush, water, gush! runne, river, from thy channell! [170]

Thou hast a sonne more lovinge then a spanniell; With watry eyes I see how tis expedient To have a sonne so wise & so obedient.

Most beauteous sonne, yet not indeede so beautifull As thou art mannerly & dutifull!

_Lyr._ See, husband, see, O see where prophett blind In twice good time is comming heere behind.

_Cep._ O heere hee is, and now that hee's come nye vs, Lye close, good wife & sonne, least hee espye vs.


All you that see mee heere in byshoppes rochett, [F. 78v rev.] [180]

And I see not, your heads may runne on crotchett, For ought I knowe, to knowe what manner wight In this strange guise I am, or how I hight; I am Tyresias, the not seeing prophett, Blinde though I bee, I pray lett noe man scoffe it: For blind I am, yea, blind as any beetle, And cannot see a whitt, no, nere so little.

Heere ar no eyes, why, they ar in my minde, Wherby I see the fortunes of mankind; Who made mee blind? Jove? I may say to you noe; [190]

But it was Joves wife & his sister Juno.

Juno & Jove fell out, both biggest G.o.ds, And I was hee tooke vpp the merrye oddes.

You knowe it all, I am sure, 'tis somewhat common, And how besides seven yeares I was a woman; Which if you knowe you doe know all my state: Come on, Ile fold the fortune of your fate.

_Lyr._ Tremblinge, Tyresias, I pray you cease to travell, And rest a little on the groundy gravell.

_Tyr._ Who ist calls? Speake, for I cannot see. [200]

_Cep._ Poore frends, sir, to the number of some three.

_Tyr._ What would you have?

_Cep._ Why, sir, this is the matter, To bee plaine with you & not to flatter; I am the stately river hight Cephise, Smoother then & softer farre then ice; [F. 78r rev.]

This nimphe before you heere whom you doe see Is my owne wife, yclipt Lyriope.

Though with the dawbe of prayse I am loath to lome her, This Ile a.s.sure you, the blind poett Homer [210]

Saw not the like amongst his nimphes and G.o.ddesses, Nor in his Iliads, no, nor in his Odysses.

Thinke not, I pray, that wee are come for nought; Our lovely infant have wee to you brought.

The purple hew of this our iolly striplynge I would not have you thinke was gott with tiplinge; Hee is our sonne Narcisse, no common varlett, Nature in graine hath died his face in skarlett.

Speak then, I pray you, speake, for wee you portune That you would tell our sunnfac't sonne his fortune. [220]

_Lyr._ Doe not shrink backe, Narcissus, come & stand, Hold vpp & lett the blind man see thy hand.

_Tyr._ Come, my young sonne, hold vp & catch audacitye; I see thy hand with the eyes of my capacitye.

Though I speake riddles, thinke not I am typsye, For what I speake I learnde it of a gipsye, And though I speak hard woords of curromanstike, Doe not, I pray, suppose that I am franticke.

The table of thy hand is somewhat ragged, Thy mensall line is too direct and cragged, [230]

Thy line of life, my sonne, is to, to breife, And crosseth Venus girdle heere in cheife, And heere (O dolefull signe) is overthwarte In Venus mount a little or warte. [F. 77v rev.]

Besides heere, in the hillocke of great Jupiter, Monnsieur la mors lyes lurking like a sheppbiter; What can I make out of this hard construction But dolefull dumpes, decay, death, & destruction?

_Cep._ O furious fates, O three thread-thrumming sisters, O fickle fortune, thou, thou art the mistres [240]

Of this mishapp; why am I longer liver?

Runne river, runne, & drowne thee in the river.

_Tyr._ Then sith to thee, my sonne, I doe p.r.o.nounce ill, It shall behove thee for to take good counsell, And that eft soone; wisdoome they say is good, Your parents ambo have done what they coode, They can but bringe horse to the water brinke, But horse may choose whether that horse will drinke.

_Lyr._ Oh say, thou holy preist of high Apollo, What harme, what hurt, what chaunge, what chaunce, will [250]

followe, That if wee can wee may provide a plaster Of holsome hearbes to cure this dire disaster.

_Tyr._ If I should tell you, you amisse would iudge it; I have one salve, one medecine, in my budgett, And that is this, since you will have mee tell, If hee himselfe doe never knowe; farewell. [_Exit_ TYR.

_Lyr._ Mary come out, is his ould noddle dotinge?

Heere is an ould said saw well woorth the notinge; Shall hee not know himselfe? Who shall hee then? [F. 77r rev.]

My boy shall knowe himselfe from other men, [260]

I, & my boy shall live vntill hee dye, In spight of prophett & in spight of pye.

It is an ould sawe: That it is too late When steede is stolne to shutt the stable gate; Therfore take heed; yet I bethinke at Delph, One Phibbus walls is written: Knowe thyselfe.

Shall hee not know himselfe, and so bee laught on, When as Apollo cries, gnotti seauton? [_Exeunt._


Come, prethy lett vs goe: come, Clinias, come, And girt thy baskett dagger to thy b.u.mme; [270]

Lett vs, I say, bee packinge, and goe meete The poore blind prophett stalking in the streete: Lett us be iogginge quickly.

_Cli._ Peace, you, I smell the footinge of Tyresias.


_Dor._ O thou which hast thy staffe to bee thy tutor, Whose head doth shine with bright hairs white as pewter, Like silver moone, when as shee kist her minion In Late-mouse mont, the swaine yclipt Endimion, Who, beeing cald Endimion the drowsye, [280]

Slept fifty yeers, & for want of shift was lowsye; [F. 76v rev.]

O thou whose breast, I, even this little cantle, Is counsells capcase, prudences portmantle, O thou that pickest wisdome out of guttes As easy as men doe kernells out of nuttes, Looke in our midriffs, & I pray you tell vs Whether wee two shall live & dye good fellowes.

_Tyr._ How doe you both?

_Dor._ Well, I thanke you.

_Tyr._ Are you not sicklye? [290]

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