The humble shrubs and bushes hide the grass,
Here laurel, rosemary, here myrtle was :
Here grew thick box, and tam'risk, that excels,
And made a mere confusion of sweet smells :
The triffoly, the pine ; and on this heath
Stands many a plant that feels cold Zephyr's breath.
Here the young Cephalus, tir'd in the chace,
Us'd his repose and rest alone t'embrace ;
And where he fat, these words he would repeat,
• Come air, sweet air, come cool my mighty heat !
. Come, gentle air, I never will forsake thee,
• I'll hug thee thus, and in my bosom take thee.”
Some double duteous tell-tale hapt to hear this,
And to his jealous wife doth straitway bear this;
Which Procris hearing, and withal the name
Of air, sweet air, which he did oft proclaim,
She stands confounded, and amaz’d with grief,
By giving this fond tale too sound belief.
And looks, as do the trees by winter nipt,
Whom frost and cold of fruit and leaves half stript.
She bends like corveil, when too rank it grows,
Or when the ripe fruits clog the quince-tree boughs.
But when she comes t herself, she tears
Her garments, eyes, her cheeks, and hairs;
And then she starts, and to her feet applies her,
Then to the wood (stark wood) in rage she hies her.
Approaching fomewhat near, her servants they
By her appointment in a valley stay;
While the alone, with creeping paces, steals
To take the strumpet, whom her lord conceals.
What mean'st thou, Procris, in these groves to hide
What rage of love doth to this madness guide thee?
Thou hop'st the air he calls, in all her bravery,
Will ftrait approach, and thou shalt see their knavery.
And now again it irks her to be there,
For such a killing fight her heart will tear.
No truce can with her troubled thoughts dispense,
She would not now be there, nor yet be thence.
Behold the place her jealous mind foretels,
Here do they use to meet, and no where else :
The grass is laid, and see their true impression,
Even here they lay! aye, here was their transgreffion.
A body's print the faw, it was his feat,
Which makes her faint heart 'gainst her ribs to beat.
Phæbus the lofty eastern hill had scald,
And all moist vapours from the earth exhald.
Now in his noon-tide point he shineth bright,
It was the middle hour, 'twixt noon and night.
Behold young Cephalus draws to the place,
And with the fountain-water sprinks his face.
Procris is hid, upon the grass he lies,
And come sweet Zephyr, come sweet air he cries.
She sees her error now from where he stood,
Heri mind returns to her, and her fresh blood;
Among the shrubs and briars she moves and rustles,
And the injurious boughs away she justles,
Intending, as he lay there to repose him,
Nimbly to run, and in her arms inclose hiin.
He quickly casts his eye upon the bush,
Thinking therein some savage beast did rush;
His bow he bends, and a keen shaft he draws :
Unhappy man, what doft thou? stay, and pause,
It is no brute beast thou would'st 'reave of life ;
O! man unhappy! thou haft Nain thy wife !
O heaven! she cries, O help me! I am slain;
Still doth thy arrow in my wound remain.
Yet tho' by timeless fate my bones here lie,
It glads me most, that I no cuck-quean die.