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And though their dance no perfect measure is,
Yet oftentimes their music makes them kiss,
“What makes the vine about the elm to dance,
With turnings, windings, and embracements round?
What makes the loadstone to the north advance
His subtle point, as if from thence he found
His chief attracting virtue to redound?
Kind Nature first doth cause all things to love,
Love makes them dance, and in just order move.
" " Hark how the birds do sing, and mark then how
Jump with the modulation of their lays,
They lightly leap, and skip from bough to bough:
Yet do the cranes deserve a greater praise
Which keep such measure in their airy ways,
As when they all in order ranked are,
They make a perfect form triangular.
6. In the chief angle flies the watchful guide,
And all the followers their heads do lay
On their foregoers' backs, on either side ;
But for the captain hath no rest to stay
His head forwearied with the windy way,
He back retires, and then the next behind,
As his lieutenant leads them through the wind.
“ “But why relate I ev'ry singular ?
Since all the world's great fortunes and affairs
Forward and backward rapp'd and whirled are,
According to the music of the spheres :
And Change herself, her nimble feet upbears
On a round slippery wheel that rolleth ay,
And turns all states with her imperious sway.
“Learn then to dance, you that are princes born,
And lawful lords of earthly creatures all ;
Imitate them, and therefore take no scorn,
For this new art to them is natural
And imitate the stars celestial:
For when pale death your vital twist shall sever,
Your better parts must dance with them for ever.'
“ Thus Love persuades, and all the crowd of men That stands around doth make a murmuring : As when the wind loos’d from his hollow den, Among the trees a gentle base doth sing, Or as a brook through pebbles wandering : But in their looks they utter'd this plain speech, • That they would learn to dance, if Love would
“ Then first of all he doth demonstrate plain
The motions seven that are in nature found,
Upward and downward, forth, and back again,
To this side, and to that, and turning round it
Whereof a thousand brawls he doth compound,
Which he doth teach unto the multitude,
And ever with a turn they must conclude.
“ As when a nymph, arising from the land,
Leadeth a dance with her long watery train
Down to the sea, she wryes to every hand,
And every way doth cross the fertile plain:
But when at last she falls into the main,
Then all her traverses concluded are,
And with the sea, her course is circular.
* How Love taught men to dance. † Rounds or country dances.
“ Thus when at first Love had them marshalled,
As erst he did the shapeless mass of things,
He taught them rounds and winding hays to tread,
And about trees to cast themselves in rings:
As the two Bears, whom the first mover flings
With a short turn about Heaven's axle-tree,
In a round dance for ever wheeling be.
“ But after these, as men more civil grew,
He did more grave and solemn measures frame,*
With such fair order and proportion true,
And correspondence ev'ry way the same,
That no fault-finding eye did ever blame.
For ev'ry eye was moved at the sight
With sober wond'ring, and with sweet delight.
“ Not those young students of the heav'nly book,
Atlas the great, Prometheus the wise,
Which on the stars did all their life-time look,
Could ever find such measure in the skies,
So full of change and rare varieties;
Yet all the feet whereon these measures go,
Are only spondees, solemn, grave, and slow.
“ But for more diverse and more pleasing show,
A swift and wand'ring dancet she did invent,
With passages uncertain to and fro,
Yet with a certain answer and consent
To the quick music of the instrument.
Five was the number of the music's feet,
Which still the dance did with five paces meet.
“ A gallant dance, that lively doth bewray
A spirit and a virtue masculine,
Impatient that her house on Earth should stay
Since she herself is fiery and divine:
Oft doth she make her body upward fine;
With lofty turns and capriols in the air,
Which with the lusty tunes accordeth fair.
“ What shall I name those current traverses,*
That on a triple dactyl foot do run
Close by the ground with sliding passages,
Wherein that dancer greatest praise hath won
Which with best order can all orders shun:
For ev'ry where he wantonly must range,
And turn, and wind, with unexpected change.
“ Yet is there one the most delightful kind,
A lofty jumping, or a leaping roundet
Where arm in arm, two dancers are entwin'd,
And whirl themselves with strict embracements
And still their feet an anapest do sound :
An anapest is all their music's song,
Whose first two feet are short, and third is long."
“ As the victorious twins of Leda and Jove,
That taught the Spartans dancing on the sands
Of Swift Eurotas, dance in Heav'n above,
Knit and united with eternal hands;
Among the stars their double image stands,
Where both are carried with an equal pace,
Together jumping in their turning race.
“ This is the net wherein the Sun's bright eye
Venus and Mars entangled did behold,
For in this dance, their arms they so employ,
As each doth seem the other to enfold :
What if lewd wits another tale have told
Of jealous Vulcan, and of iron chains ?
Yet this true sense that forged lie contains.
" These various forms of dancing Love did frame,
And besides these, a hundred millions more,
And as he did invent, he taught the same,
With goodly gesture, and with comely show,
Now keeping state, now humbly honouring low:
And ever for the persons and the place
He taught most fit, and best according grace.*
“ For Love, within his fertile working brain
Did then conceive those gracious virgins three,
Whose civil moderation does maintain
All decent order and conveniency,
And fair respect, and seemly modesty:
And then he thought it fit they should be born,
That their sweet presence dancing might adorn.
“ Hence is it that these Graces painted are
With hand in hand dancing an endless round:
And with regarding eyes, that still beware
That there be no disgrace amongst them found;
With equal foot they beat the flow’ry ground,
Laughing, or singing, as their passions will,
Yet nothing that they do becomes them ill.