Satire 5.—Ingling Pyander

Age hath his infant youth, old trees their sprigs,
O'erspreading branches their inferior twigs:
Old beldam hath a daughter or a son,
True born or illegitimate, all's one;
Issue she hath. The father? Ask you me?
The house wide open stands, her lodging's free:
Admit myself for recreation
Sometimes did enter her possession,
It argues not that I have been the man
That first kept revels in that mantian;
No, no, the haggling commonplace is old,
The tenement hath oft been bought and sold:
'Tis rotten now, earth to earth, dust to dust,
Sodom's on fire, and consume it must;
And wanting second reparations,
Pluto hath seiz'd the poor reversions.
But that hereafter worlds may truly know
What hemlocks and what rue their erst did grow,
As it is Sathan's usual policy,
He left an issue of like quality;
The still memorial, if I aim aright,
Is a pale chequer'd black hermaphrodite.
Sometimes he jets it like a gentleman,
Other whiles much like a wanton courtesan;
But, truth to tell, a man or woman whether,
I cannot say, she's excellent at either;
But if report may certify a truth,
She's neither of either, but a cheating youth.
Yet Troynovant, that all-admirèd town,
Where thousands still do travel up and down,
Of beauty's counterfeits affords not one,
So like a lovely smiling paragon,
As is Pyander in a nymph's attire,
Whose rolling eye sets gazers' hearts on fire,
Whose cherry lip, black brow, and smiles procure
Lust-burning buzzards to the tempting lure.
What, shall I cloak sin with a coward fear,
And suffer not Pyander's sin appear?
I will, I will. Your reason? Why, I'll tell,
Because time was I lov'd Pyander well;
True love indeed will hate love's black defame,
So loathes my soul to seek Pyander's shame.
O, but I feel the worm of conscience sting,
And summons me upon my soul to bring
Sinful Pyander into open view,
There to receive the shame that will ensue!
O, this sad passion of my heavy soul
Torments my heart and senses do[th] control!
Shame thou, Pyander, for I can but shame,
The means of my amiss by thy means came;
And shall I then procure eternal blame,
By secret cloaking of Pyander's shame,
And he not blush?
By heaven, I will not! I'll not burn in hell
For false Pyander, though I lov'd him well;
No, no, the world shall know thy villany,
Lest they be cheated with like roguery.
Walking the city, as my wonted use,
There was I subject to this foul abuse:
Troubled with many thoughts, pacing along,
It was my chance to shoulder in a throng;
Thrust to the channel I was, but crowding her,
I spied Pyander in a nymph's attire:
No nymph more fair than did Pyander seem,
Had not Pyander then Pyander been;
No lady with a fairer face more grac'd,
But that Pyander's self himself defac'd;
Never was boy so pleasing to the heart
As was Pyander for a woman's part;
Never did woman foster such another
As was Pyander, but Pyander's mother.
Fool that I was in my affection!
More happy I, had it been a vision;
So far entangled was my soul by love,
That force perforce I must Pyander prove:
The issue of which proof did testify
Ingling Pyander's damnèd villany.
I lov'd indeed, and, to my mickle cost,
I lov'd Pyander, so my labour lost:
Fair words I had, for store of coin I gave,
But not enjoy'd the fruit I thought to have.
O, so I was besotted with her words,
His words, that no part of a she affords!
For had he been a she, injurious boy,
I had not been so subject to annoy.
A plague upon such filthy gullery!
The world was ne'er so drunk with mockery.
Rash-headed cavaliers, learn to be wise;
And if you needs will do, do with advice;
Tie not affection to each wanton smile,
Lest doting fancy truest love beguile;
Trust not a painted puppet, as I've done,
Who far more doted than Pygmalion:
The streets are full of juggling parasites
With the true shape of virgins' counterfeits:
But if of force you must a hackney hire,
Be curious in your choice, the best will tire;
The best is bad, therefore hire none at all;
Better to go on foot than ride and fall.
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