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In this lesson, you will learn who Hero and Leander are and what their roles are in Marlowe’s epic poem of the same name. Take a look at the summary and. This week’s “poem” is an excerpt from Christopher Marlowe’s epyllion, Hero and Leander, a splendid piece of narrative verse that was never. The Project Gutenberg eBook, Hero and Leander, by Christopher Marlowe This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no.

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By Christopher Marlowe and George Chapman. Sir, we think not ourselves discharged of the duty we owe to our friend when we have brought the breathless body to the earth; for, albeit the eye there taketh his ever-farewell of that beloved object, yet the impression of the man that hath been dear unto us, living an after-life in our memory, there putteth us in mind of farther obsequies due unto the deceased; and namely of the performance of whatsoever we may judge shall make to his living credit and to the effecting of his determinations prevented by the stroke of death.

By these meditations as amd an intellectual will I suppose myself executor to the unhappily deceased author of this poem; upon whom knowing that in his lifetime you bestowed many kind favours, entertaining the parts of reckoning and worth which you found in him with good countenance and liberal affection, I cannot but see so far into the will of him dead, that whatsoever issue of his brain should chance to come abroad, that the znd breath it anv take might be the gentle air of your liking; for, since his self had been accustomed thereunto, it would prove more agreeable and thriving to his right children than any other foster counten- ance whatsoever.

The first two Sestiads were written by Marlowe; the last four by Chapman, who supplied anx the Arguments for the six Sestiads. Which tale the author doth madlowe.

Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves, Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives: She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her mind, Or warm or cool them, for they took delight To play upon those hands, they were so white.

Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills, Which, as she went, would cherup through the bills.

I could tell ye, Snd smooth his breast was, and how white his leaander And whose immortal fingers did imprint That heavenly path with many a curious dint That runs along his back; but my rude pen Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men, Much less of powerful gods: Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall.

Thither resorted many a wandering guest To meet their loves: There might you see one sigh; another rage; And some, their violent passions to assuage Compile sharp satires; but, alas, too late! On this feast-day,—O cursed day and hour!

So fair a church as this had Venus none: And in the midst a silver altar stood: Such force and virtue hath an amorous look. When two are stript long ere the course begin, We wish that one should lose, the other win; And one especially do we affect Of two gold ingots, like in each respect: Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Love deeply grounded, hardly is dissembled.

These lovers parled by the touch of hands: True love is mute, and oft amazed stands. At last, like to a bold sharp sophister, With cheerful hope thus he accosted her. I would my rude words had the influence To lead thy thoughts as thy fair looks do mine! Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine. Be not unkind and fair; mis-shapen stuff Are of behaviour boisterous and rough. O, shun me not, but hear me ere you go! God knows, I cannot force love as you do: My words shall be as spotless as my youth, Full of simplicity and naked truth.


Why should you worship her? Nor heaven nor thou were made to gaze upon: As heaven preserves all things, so save thou one. Vessels of brass, oft handed, brightly shine: Maelowe difference betwixt the richest mine And basest mould, but use? Rich robes themselves and others do adorn; Neither themselves nor others, if not worn.

Who builds a palace, and rams up the gate, Shall see it ruinous and desolate: Ah, simple Hero, learn thyself to cherish! Lone women, like to empty houses, perish. Less sins the poor rich man, that starves himself In heaping up a mass of marlowr pelf, Than such as you: Well therefore by the gods decreed it is, We human creatures should enjoy that bliss.

Christopher Marlowe – Hero and Leander

One is no number; maids are nothing, then, Without the sweet society of men. Wilt thou live heeo still? Wild savages, that drink of running springs, Think water far excels all earthly things; But they, that daily taste neat wine, despise it: Of that which hath no being, do not boast: Things that are not at all, are never lost.

Men foolishly do call it virtuous: What virtue is it, that is born with us?

Full text of “Hero and Leander”

Whose name is it, if she be false or not, So she be fair, but some vile tongues will blot? But you are fair, ay me! Then, Hero, hate me not, nor from me fly, To follow swiftly blasting imfamy. Perhaps thy sacred priesthood makes thee loath: To expiate which sin, kiss and shake bero Such sacrifice as this Venus demands.

Flint breasted Pallas joys in single life; But Pallas and your mistress are at leandrr. Love, Hero, then, and be not tyrannous; But heal the heart that thou hast wounded thus; Nor stain thy youthful years with avarice: Fair fools delight to be accounted nice.

The richest corn dies, if it be not reapt; Beauty alone is lost, too warily kept. Women are won when they begin to jar. Yet, evilly feigning anger, strove she still, And would be thought to grant against her will. A dwarfish beldam bears me company, That hops about the chamber where I lie, And spends the night, that might mxrlowe better spent, In vain discourse and apish merriment: Then towards the palace of the Destinies, Laden with languishment and marolwe, he flies, And to those stern nymphs humbly made request, Both might enjoy each other, and be blest.

Hearken a while, and I will tell you why. But she, Whose only dower was her chastity, Having striven in vain, was now about to cry, And crave the help of shepherds that marpowe nigh. Which being known,—as what wnd hid from Jove?

And, but that learning, in despite of Fate, Will amount aloft, and enter heaven-gate, And to the seat of Jove itself advance, Hermes had slept in hell with Ignorance. Yet, as a punishment, they added this, That he and Poverty should always kiss And to this day is every scholar poor: Gross gold from them runs headlong to the boor.


Hero of love takes deeper hsro, And doth her love more recompense: So on she goes, and, in her idle flight, Her painted fan of curled plumes let fall, Thinking to train Leander therewithal.

Christopher Marlowe – Hero and Leander

At last he came: O, who can tell the greeting These greedy lovers had at their first meeting? Look how their hands, so were their hearts united, And what he did, she willingly requited.

Much more in subjects having intellect Some hidden influence breeds like effect. Albeit Leander, rude in love and raw, Long dallying with Hero, nothing saw That might delight him more, yet he suspected Some amorous rites or other were neglected. Therefore unto his body hers he clung: Love always makes those eloquent that have it. Above our life we love a steadfast friend; Yet when a token of great worth we send, We often kiss it, often look thereon, And stay the messenger that would be gone; No marvel, then, though Hero would heto yield So soon to lfander from that she dearly held: O, none but gods have power their love to hide!

His secret flame apparently was seen: What is it now but mad Leander dares? Leander, being up, began to swim, And, looking back, saw Neptune follow him: O, that these tardy arms of mine were wings!

Poem of the week: Hero and Leander by Christopher Marlowe

Neptune was angry that he gave no ear, And in his heart revenging malice bare: By this, Leander, being near the land, Cast down his weary feet, and felt the sand. Unto her was he led, or rather drawn By those white limbs which sparkled through the lawn.

The nearer that he came, the more she mxrlowe, And, seeking refuge, slipt into her bed; Whereon Leander sitting, thus began, Through numbing cold, all feeble, faint, and wan. This head was beat with many a churlish billow, And therefore let anc rest upon thy pillow.

His hands he cast upon her like a snare: And now she lets him whisper in her ear, Flatter, entreat, promise, protest, and swear: Even as a bird, which in our hands we wring, Forth plungeth, and oft flutters with her wing, She trembling strove: Treason was in her thought, And cunningly to yield herself she sought.

Seeming not won, yet won she was at length: In such wars women use but half their strength. And every kiss to her was as a charm, And heor Leander as a fresh alarm: So that the truce was broke, and she, alas, Poor silly maiden, at his mercy was. Love is ans full of pity, as men say, But deaf and cruel where he means to prey. Again, she knew not how to frame her look, Or speak to him, who in a moment took That leandee so long, so charily she kept; And fain by stealth away she would have crept, And to some corner secretly have gone, Leaving Leander in the bed alone.

Whence his admiring eyes more pleasure took Than Dis, on heaps leandef gold fixing his look. Leander to the envious light Resigns his night-sports with the night, And swims the Hellespont again.

Thesme, the deity sovereign Of customs and religious rites, Appears, reproving his delights, Since nuptial honours he neglected; Which straight he vows shall be effected.