Consider I the darkened road ahead,
And test of love that waits my dame and me;
None to life returns from eternitie,
But none for love living hath Hades tread.
If fail I, then here will I come when dead,
And be the closer to my fair beautie.
Th’underworld king cannot claim victorie
If she and I he hopes to remain spread.
But this fate I cannot the squire demand,
So he from my service sent home I grant
That he may love, while hath in glass the sand,
For such is greatest jewel that man could want.
Alone I am, yet not alone in soule,
For dwelleth there my love to make me whole.
In this poem, Orphos displays mercy (the last of the seven virtues), as he allows the squire to return home rather than face the nightmare of Hades, since the task of rescuing Euredissa from Hell is one that Orphos, and not the squire, swore to complete.
3. “None to life … eternitie”: This is just a slight ‘foreshadowing’ of Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquoy, in which he states that “The undiscover’d country from whose bourn / No traveler returns” despite having spoken with the ghost of his father.
8. remain spread: kept apart.
11. “in glass the sand”: while the hourglass (of life) still has time left in it, ie. before he dies.