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Protefilaus, lying Wind-bound at Aulis, in the Grecian
Flet, design'd for the Trojan War, his Wife Laodamia sends this following Epistle to Him. Ealth to the gentle Man of War, and may
What Laodamia sends, the Gods convey. The Wind that still in Aulis holds my Dear, Why was it not so cross to keep him here? Let the Wind raise an Hurricane at Sea, Were he but safe and warm alhore with me. Ten thousand Kisses I had more to give him, Ten thousand Cautions, and soft Words to leave him ; In Haste he left me, summon'd by the Wind (The Wind to barbarous Mariners only kind.) The Seaman's Pleasure is the Lover's Pain, (Protesilaus is from my Bosom ta'en !) As from my faultring Tongue half Speeches fell, (Scarce could I speak that wounding Word, Farewell,) A merry Gale (at Sea they call it fo) Fill'd ev'ry Sail with Joy, my Breast with Wo; There went my dear Proteflaus
While I could see thee, full of eager Pain,
My greedy Eyes epicuriz'd on thine,
When thee no more, but thy spread Sails I view,
I look'd, and look'd, 'till I had lost them 100 ;
But when nor thee, nor them I could desery,
And all was Sea that came within my Eye,
They say, (for I have quite forgot) they say
I ftrait grew pale, and fainted quite away ;
Compassionate Iphiclus, and the good old Man,
My Mother too, to my Affistance ran;
In haste, cold Water on my Face they threw;
And brought me to my self with much ado;
They meant it well, to me it seem'd not so,
Much kinder had they been to let me go;
My Anguish with my Soul together came,
Heart burst out the former Flame:
Since which, my uncomb'd Locks unheeded Aow,
Undrest, forlorn, I care not how I go;
Inspir'd with Wine, thus Bacchus' frolic Rout
Stagger'd of old, and ftraggled all about.
Put on, Put on, the happy Ladies say,
The Royal Robes, fair Laodamia.
Alas! before Troy's Walls my Dear does lie,
What Pleasure can I take in Tyrian Die?
Shall Curls adorn my Head, an Helmet thine:
I in bright Tiffues, thou in Armour fhine?
Rather with ftudied Negligence I'll be
As ill, if not disguised worse than thee.
O Paris ! rais'd by Ruins! may'st thou prove
As fatal in thy War, as in thy Lore!
O that the Grecian Dame had been less fair,
Or thou less lovely hadit appear’d to her!
O Menelaus! timely cease to strive;
With how much Blood wilt thou thy Loss retriever
From me, ye Gods, avert your heavy doom,
And bring my Dear, laden with Laurels home.
But Heart fails me, when I think of War;
The fad Reflections cost me many a Tear:
I tremble when I hear the
Of ev'ry Place where thou shalt fight for Fame.
Besides th' adventurous Ravisher well knew
The safest Arts his Villany to pursue ;
In noble Dress he did her Heart surprize,
With Gold he dazzled her unguarded Eyes,
He back'd his Rape with Ships and armed Men,
Thus storm'd, thus took the beauteous Fortress in.
Against the Power of Love, and Force of Arms,
There's no Security in the brightest Charms.
Hector I fear, much do I Heflor fear,
A Man (they say) experienc'd in War.
My Dear, if thou hast any Love for me,
Of that fame Hector proythee mindful be,
Fly him be fure, and every other Foe,
Left each of them should prove an Hector too.
Remember, when for Fight thou shalt prepare,
Thy Laodamia charg'd thee, have a care,
For what Wounds thou receiv'ft, are giv'n to her.
If by thy Valour Troy must ruin'd be,
May not the Ruin leave one Scar on thee;
Sharer in th'Honour, from the Danger free!
Let Menelaus fight, and force his Way
Through the false Ravisher's Troops to his Helena.
Great by his Vi&t’ry, as his Cause is good,
May he swim to her in his Enemies Blood,
Thy Cafe is different-May'st thou live to see
(Dearest) no other Combatant but me!
Ye gen'rous Trojans, turn your Swords away
From his dear Breast, find out a nobler Prey:
Why should you harmless Laodamia slay :
My poor good-naturd Man did never know
What 'tis to fight, or how to face a Foe;
Yet in Love's Field what Wonders can he do!
Great is his Prowess, and his Fortune too;
Let them go fight, who know not how to woo.
Now I must own, I fear'd to let thee go:
My trembling Lips had almoft told thee fo.
When from thy Father's House thou didft withdraw,
Thy fatal Stumble at the Door I saw,
I saw it, figh’d, and pray'd the Sign might be
Of thy Return a happy Prophecy !
I cannot but acquaint thee with
Be not too brave, - Remember, Have a care,
And all my Dreads will vanish into Air.
Among the Grecians some one must be found
That first shall set his Foot on Trojan Ground;
Unhappy the that shall his Loss bewail,
Grant, Oye Gods, thy Courage then may fail.
Of all the Ships, be thine the very last,
Thou the last Man that lands; there needs no hasle
To meet a potent and a treach'rous Foe;
Thou'lt land, I fear, too soon, tho' ne'er fo flow.
At thy Return ply ev'ry Sail and Oar,
And nimbly leap on thy deserted Shoar,
All the Day long, and all the lonely Night,
Black Thoughts of thee my anxious Soul affright:
Darkness, to other Womens Pleasures kind,
Augments, like Hell, the Torments of my Mind;
I court e'en Dreams, on my forsaken Bed,
False Joys must serve, fince all my true are fled.
What's that same airy Phantom so like thee?
What Wailings do I hear, what Paleness fee?
I wake, and hug my self, 'tis but a Dream
The Grecian Altars know I feed their Flame.
The want of hallow'd Wine my Tears fupply,
Which make the sacred Fire burn bright and high.
When shall I clasp thee in these Arms of mine,
These longing Arms, and lie diffolv'd in thine ?
When Aall I have thee by thy self alone,
To learn the wond'rous Actions thou haft done?
Which when in rapt'rous Words thou hast begun,
With many and many a Kiss, prythee tell on;
Such Interruptions graceful Pauses are,
A Kiss in Story's but an Halt in War.
But when I think of Troy, of Winds and Waves,
I fear the pleasant Dream my Hope deceives:
Contrary Winds in Port detain thee too,
In spite of Wind and Tide why would it thou go?
Thus to thy Country thou wouldst hardly come,
In spite of Wind and Tide thou went'st from home.
To his own City Neptune stops the Way,
Revere the Omen, and the Gods obey.