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Poems, and phancies

written By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, And Excellent Princess The Lady Marchioness of Newcastle [i.e. Margaret Cavendish]. The Second Impression, much Altered and Corrected

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The Hunting of a Stag.
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The Hunting of a Stag.

There was a Stag, did in the Forest lye,
Whose Neck was long, whose Horns were Branch'd up high,
His Haunch was broad, Sides large, and Back was long,
His Legs were Nervous, and his Joynts were Strong;
His Hair lay Sleek and Smooth, he was so Fair,
None in the Forest might with him Compare.
In Summer's Heat he in Cool Brakes him lay,
VVhich being High did keep the Sun away;
In Evenings Cool, and Dewy Mornings he
VVould early Rise and all the Forest see;
Then was he VValking to some Crystal brook,
Not for to Drink, but on his Horns to Look,
Taking such pleasure in his stately Crown,
His Pride forgot that Dogs might pull him down;
From thence he to a Shady VVood did go,
VVhere streightest Pines and talest Cedars grow;
Olives upright, imbrac'd by th'Loving Vines,
Birches which Bow their Heads to Golden Mines;
Small Aspen stalk, which shakes like Agues cold,
That from perpetual Motion never hold;
The sturdy Oak, which on the Seas doth Ride;
Firr which tall Masts doth make, where Sails are tied;
The weeping Maple, and the Popler green,
Whose cooling Buds in Salves have Healing been;
The fatting Chestnut, and the Hasle small,
The smooth-rind Beech, which groweth Large and Tall;
The loving Mirtle fit for Amorous kind,
The yielding Willow for Inconstant Mind;


The Cypress Sad, which makes the Funeral Hearse,
And Sicomors, where Lovers write their Verse;
And Juniper, which gives a pleasant Smell,
With many more, which were too Long to tell,
Which from their Sappy Roots sprout Branches small,
Some call it Under-wood, that's never Tall;
There walking through the Stag was hinder'd much,
The bending Twigs his Horns did often Touch;
While he on tender Leaves and Buds did brouse,
His Eyes were troubled with the broken Boughs;
Then strait he sought this Labyrinth t'unwind,
Though hard it was his first way out to find;
Unto this Wood a Rising Hill was near,
The sweet wild Thyme and Marjoran grew there,
And Winter-Sav'ry which was never Set,
Of which the Stag took great delight to Eat;
But looking down into the Vallies low,
He saw, there Grass and Cowslips thick did grow,
And Springs, which Digg'd themselves a passage out,
Much like as Serpents, wind each Field about;
Rising in Winter high, they'ld over-flow
The flow'ry Banks, but make the Soil to grow;
And as he went thinking therein to Feed,
He 'spied a Field, which Sow'd was with VVheat-seed,
The Blades were grown a handfull high and more,
VVhich Sight to Taste did soon Invite him o're;
In haste he went, Fed full, then down did lye;
The Owner coming there, did him Espy,
Strait call'd his Dogs to Hunt him from that place;
At last it prov'd to be a Forest chase;
The Chase grew hot, the Stag apace did run,
The Dogs pursu'd, more Men for Sport came on;


At last a Troop of Men, Horse, Dogs did meet,
Which made the Hart to try his Nimble feet;
Full swift he was, his Horns he bore up high,
The Men did Shout, the Dogs ran Yelping by,
And Bugle Horns with several Notes did blow,
Huntsmen, to cross the Stag, did Side-ways go;
The Horses beat their Hoofs against dry Ground,
Raising such Clouds of Dust, their ways scarce found,
Their Sides ran down with Sweat, as if they were
New come from Watering, so dropt every Hair;
The Dogs their Tongues out of their Mouths hung long,
Their Sides did like a Feaverish Pulse beat strong,
Their short Ribs heav'd up high, and then fell low,
As Bellows draw in Wind that they may Blow;
Men Tawny grew, the Sun their Skins did turn,
Their Mouths were Dry, their Bowels felt to Burn;
The Stag so Hot as glowing Coals may be,
Yet swiftly Ran when he the Dogs did see.
Coming at length unto a Rivers side,
VVhose Current flow'd as with a falling Tide,
There he Leap'd in, thinking some while to stay
To wash his Sides, his burning Heat t'allay,
In hope the Dogs could not in VVater swim,
But was deceiv'd, for they did follow him
Like Fishes, which do Swim in VVaters deep;
He Duck'd, but Out, alas! his Horns did Peep;
The Dogs were cover'd over Head and Ear,
Nothing did of them but their Nose appear;
The Stag and River like a Race did show,
He striving still the River to Out-go,
VVhilst Men and Horses down the Banks did run,
Encouraging the Dogs to follow on,


Where in the Water, like a Looking-glass,
He by Reflexion saw their Shadows pass;
Fear did his Breath cut short, his Limbs did shrink,
Like those which the Cramp makes to th'Bottom sink:
Thus out of Breath no longer could he stay,
But Leap'd on Land, and swiftly Run away;
For Change brings Ease, ease Strength, in Strength Hope lives,
Hope Joys the Heart, and Joy light Heels still gives.
His Feet did like a Feather'd Arrow fly,
Or like a winged Bird that mounts the Sky;
The Dogs like Ships, that Sail with Wind and Tide,
Do Cut the Air, and VVaters deep Divide;
Or like as Greedy Merchants, which for gain
Venture their Life, and Traffick on the Main;
The Hunters like to Boys, which without fear,
To see a Sight, will hazard Life, that's Dear:
For they are Sad when Mischief takes no place,
And out of Countenance as with Disgrace,
But when they see a Ruine and a Fall,
They come with Joy, as if they'd Conquer'd all:
And thus did their three several Passions meet;
First the desire to Catch the Dogs made Fleet,
Then Fear the Stag made Run, his Life to save,
Whilst Men for love of Mischief digg'd his Grave.
The angry Dust flew in each Face about,
As if't would with Revenge their Eyes put out,
Yet they all fast went on, with a huge Cry;
The Stag no hope had left, nor help did 'spy,
His Heart so heavy grew with Grief and Care,
That his small Feet his Body scarce could bear,
Yet loath to Dye, or yield to Foes was he,
And to the last would strive for Victory;


'Twas not for want of Courage he did Run,
But that an Army was 'gainst him alone;
Had he the Valour had of Cæsar stout,
Yet Yield he must to them, or Dye, no doubt;
Turning his Head, as if he Dar'd their spight,
Prepar'd himself against them all to Fight;
Single he was, his Horns were all his helps,
To Guard him from a Multitude of Whelps;
Besides, a Company of Men were there,
If Dogs should fail, to strike him every where;
But to the last his Fortune he'ld try out,
Then Men and Dogs did Circle him about,
Some Bit, some Bark'd, all Ply'd him at the Bay,
Where with his Horns he Tossed some away:
But Fate his Thread had Spun, he down did fall,
Shedding some Tears at his own Funeral.

Golden Mines are found out by the Birches bowing.