Lisle and Lucas slain? O say not so!
2Who could kill Love and Valor at a blow?
Just as Minerva’s darling closed his eyes,
4Love, kissing, wept and on his bosom dies.
5Ah me, what horrid
Hydra had the heart
6Them in their deaths thus to unite and part?
Mars, on the
Areopagus, once was tried;
8His valor saved him, or he else had died.
9His judge and jury were the best of gods;
10These, worst of men: O me, what odds!
Jove’s three sons of everlasting fame
12(Born of a mortal and celestial flame),
13Had they been here, this business to decide,
too noble gallants had not died.
Astraeus (lover of the Morn,
16Of whose bright womb her
brighter babe was born)
17Had he been here, he would have took delight
18To save their lives, that for his child did fight.
19Then, had their judges been the gods eternal,
20Or upright men—nay, or the
21This unambiguous business to decide,
22Then this unparalleled friendship had not died.
Jews, Turks, atheists, Independents: all
24That curséd rabble made these gallants fall.
they do it? Were they not
Whenas the cruel
Parcae sat and gazed
their perfections? As Lachesis drew the thread,
you part asunder then?” she said.
29They, striving in their lives to embrace each other,
30She twirled and twisted both of them together.
31Then Clotho at their constant love did wonder,
32And, in mere pity, pulled them not asunder;
33She being, it seems, the tend’rest-hearted lass,
34“Go, noble souls,” she said, and let them pass.
35But Atropos, enraged, began to chide,
36Saying, “These true love’s knots must be untied.”
37But seeing their lives she could not stay t’untwist,
38“Let those sit idling here” (she said) “that
39How can we give account unto those powers
40That us employ, in trifling out our hours?”
41Then, scolding at her sisters for their sloth,
42She with her fatal scissors snipped them both.
43She then cried out “Alas!”; but
44Forced her, poor girl: her pity came too late.
Lycaon, Tantal, tender to this brood,
46Who fed on hostages and infants’ blood:
they now more cruel than at first?
48They’re drunk with Christian blood, yet still they thirst.
old vulture and his preying brood
50Think to grow young with
sucking sprightly blood?
51Oh, let them next suck
Nessus’s poisoned gore;
Alcides, let them rave and roar;
53And, as they have been
three kingdoms’ sore annoyers,
54Let them, like him, at last be self-destroyers.
55Had these undaunted loving heroes died
56In former times, they had been deified.
57Then, their renown and love had spread as far
58As those two famous
thunderbolts of war.
59Effigies, pyramids, columns,
60Had been erect to
memorize our losses;
61But we are now denied our just desires.
62True grateful love in this, our age, expires;
some sad swan, I know, there will be found
64That for this only action shall be crowned:
65That shall bear lovely Lisle and Lucas’s name
66Unto the temple of eternal fame.
67When that black army, after their short dream,
68Shall floating be on
Styx’s sable stream,
69They by the angry billows shall be tossed
Oblivion’s horrid womb they’re lost.
he that fired Diana’s fane for fame
72Lost both his expectation and his name;
Cambyses, who presumed
74To rob the gods till sand his men consumed;
75Or that fierce
Gaul who Delphi meant to plunder
routed him with thunder:
77If these live now in honor, then no doubt
78Fame shall attend this sacrilegious
our faith’s defender overpowered,
80And temples, altars, victims, all devoured;
81But these victorious souls live now above,
82And gloriously go on in endless love,
their fair frames, which here did close their lives,
84Shall live in fame till they in glory rise.