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Short poem

George Chapman (1559?-1634)

The Shadow Of Night
Hymnus in Noctem



          255   Fall, Hercules, from heaven, in tempests hurl'd,
          256And cleanse this beastly stable of the world;
          257Or bend thy brazen bow against the Sun,
          258As in Tartessus, when thou hadst begun
          259Thy task of oxen: heat in more extremes
          260Than thou wouldst suffer, with his envious beams.
          261Now make him leave the world to Night and dreams.
          262Never were virtue's labours so envied
          263As in this light: shoot, shoot, and stoop his pride.
          264Suffer no more his lustful rays to get
          265The Earth with issue: let him still be set
          266In Somnus' thickets: bound about the brows,
          267With pitchy vapours, and with ebon boughs.

          268   Rich taper'd sanctuary of the blest,
          269Palace of Ruth, made all of tears, and rest,
          270To thy black shades and desolat{.i}on
          271I consecrate my life; and living moan,
          272Where furies shall for ever fighting be,
          273And adders hiss the world for hating me;
          274Foxes shall bark, and night ravens belch in groans,
          275And owls shall hollo my confus{.i}ons
          276There will I furnish up my funeral bed,
          277Strew'd with the bones and relics of the dead.
          278Atlas shall let th' Olympic burthen fall,
          279To cover my untombed face withal.
          280And when as well, the matter of our kind,
          281As the material substance of the mind,
          282Shall cease their revolutions, in abode
          283Of such impure and ugly period,
          284As the old essence, and insensive prime:
          285Then shall the ruins of the fourfold time,
          286Turn'd to that lump (as rapting torrents rise),
          287For ever murmur forth my miseries.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: George Chapman. The Shadow of Night. London: R. F[ield]. for W. Ponsonby, 1594. STC 4990.
First publication date: 1594
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.213.
Recent editing: 2:2002/5/17

Other poems by George Chapman