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« Mercy! deare Lord," said he, “what grace is this O foolish physick, and unfruitfull paine,
But hurt his hart, the which before was sound, Angell, or goddesse doe I call thee right?
Through an unwary dart which did rebownd What service may I doe unto thee meete,
From her faire eyes and gratious countenaunce. That hast from darkenes me returnd to light, What bootes it him from death to be unbownd, And with thy hevenly salves and med'cines sweete To be captíved in endlésse duraúnce Hast drest my sinful] wounds!. I kisse thy blessed of sorrow and despeyre without aleggeaunce! feete."
Still as his wound did gather, and grow hole, Thereat she blushing said ; “ Ah! gentle squire,
So still his hart woxe sore, and health decayd: Nor goddesse I, nor angell; but the mayd
Madnesse to save a part, and lose the whole! And daughter of a woody nymphe, desire
Still whenas he beheld the heavenly mayd, No service but thy safëty and ayd;
Whiles daily playsters to his wownd she layd, Which if thou gaine, I shal be well apayd.
So still his malady the more increast, Wee mortall wights, whose lives and fortunes bee
The whiles her matchlesse beautie him dismayd. To commun accidents stil open layd,
Ah, God! what other could he do at least, Are bownd with commun bond of fraïltee,
But love so fayre a lady that his life releast ! To succor wretched wights whom we captíved see.” By this her damzells, which the former chace
Long while he strove in his corageous brest Had undertaken after her, arryv’d,
With reason dew the passion to subdew, As did Belphæbe, in the bloody place,
And love for to Jislodge out of his nest :
Still when her excellencies he did vew,
Her soveraine bountie and celestiali hew,
The same to love he strongly was constraynd: And every one to ronne the swiftest stryv'd;
But, when his meane estate he did revew, But two of them the rest far overpast,
He from such hardy boldnesse was restraynd, And where their lady was arrived at the last.
And of bis lucklesse lott and cruell love thus
played : Where when they saw that goodly boy with blood Defowled, and their lady dresse his wownd, “ Unthankfull wretch," said he, “is this the meed, They wondred much; and shortly understood With which her soverain mercy thou doest quight? How him in deadly cace their lady fownd,
Thy life she saved by her 'gratious deed; And reskewed out of the heavy stownd.
But thou doest weene with villeinous despight Eftsoones his warlike courser, which was strayd To blott her honour and her heavenly light: Farre in the woodes whiles that he lay in swownd, Dye; rather dye then so disloyally She made those damzels search; which being stayd, Deeme of her high desert, or seeme so light: They did him set thereon, and forth with them con- Fayre death it is, to shonne more shame, to dy : vayd.
Dye ; rather dye then ever love disloyally. Into that forest farre they thence him led
“ But if to love disloyalty it bee, Where was their dwelling ; in a pleasant glade Shall I then hate her that from deathës dore With mountaines rownd about environed
Me brought? ah! farre be such reproch fro mee! And mightie woodes, which did the valley shade, What can I lesse doe then her love therefore, And like a stately theatre it made
Sith I her dew reward cannot restore ? Spreading itselfe into a spatious plaine;
Dye; rather dye, and dying doe ber serve; And in the midst a little river plaide
Dying her serve, and living her adore; Emongst the pumy stones, which seems to plaine Thy life she gave, thy life she doth deserve: With gentle murmure that his course they did re- Dye; rather dye then ever from ter service swerve.
straine. Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
“ But, foolish boy, what bootes thy service bace Planted with mirtle trees and laure'ls greene,
To her, to whom the Hevens doe serve and sew? In which the birds song many a lovely lay
Thou, a meane squyre of meeke and lowly place; of Gods high praise, and of their sweet loves teene, She, hevenly borne and of celestiall hew.
How then? of all love taketh equall vew;
And doth not highest God vouchsafe to take
The love and service of the basest crew ?
If she will not; dye meekly for her sake:
Dye; rather dye then ever so faire love forsake!" Thether they brought that wounded squire, and layd Thus warreid he long time against his will; In easie couch his feeble limbes to rest.
Till that through weaknesse he was forst at last He rested him awhile; and then the mayd To yield himselfe unto the mightie ill, His readie wound with better salves new drest: Which, as a victour proud, gan ransack fast Daily she dressed him, and did the best,
His inward partes, and all his entrayles wast, His grievous hurt to guarish, that she might; That neither blood in face nor life in hart That shortly she his dolour hath redrest,
It left, but both did quite dry up and blast; And his foule sore reduced to faire plight: As percing levin, which the inner part It she reduced, but himselfe destroyed quight. Of every thing consumes and calcineth by art.
Which seeing, fayre Belphæbe gan to feare
The birth of fayre Belphoebe and
Of Amorett is told :
The Gardins of Adonis fraught
With pleasures manifold.
Well, may I weene, faire ladies, all this while To doe bim ease, or doe him remedy:
Ye wonder how this noble damozell Many restoratives of vertues rare,
So great perfections did in her compile, And costly cordialles she did apply,
Sith that in salvage forests she did dwell, To mitigate his stubborne malady:
So farre from court and royall citadell, But that sweet cordiall, which can restore
The great schoolmaistresse of all courtesy : A love-sick bart, she did to him envy;
Seeineth that such wilde woodes should far expell To bim, and to all th' unworthy world forlore, All civile usage and gentility, She did envy that suveraine salve in secret store. And gentle sprite deforme with rude rusticity.
That daintie rose, the daughter of her morne, But to this faire Belphæbe in her berth
Looking with myld aspect upon the Earth
love laught on Venus from his soverayne see, But, soone as calmed was the cristall ayre, And Phoebus with faire beames did ber adorne, She did it fayre dispred and let to florish fayre. And all the Graces rockt her cradle being borne. Eternall God, in his almightie powre,
Her berth was of the wombe of morning dew,
And her conception of the joyous prime;
That is ingenerate in fleshly slime.
So was she trayned up from time to time
These two were twipnes, and twixt them two did share
By what straunge accident faire Chrysogone To whom, in perfect love and spotlesse fame Conceiv'd these infants, and how them she bare Of chastitie, none living may compayre:
In this wilde forrest wandring all alone, Ne poysnous envy iustly cau empayre
After she had niue moneths fulfild and gone: The prayse of her fresh-flowring maydenhead; For not as other wemens commune brood Forthy she standeth on the highest stayre
They were enwombed in the sacred throne Of th' honorable stage of womanhead,
Of her chaste bodie; nor with commune food, That ladies all may follow her ensample dead. As other wemens babes, they sucked vitall blood :
In so great prayse of stedfast chastity
But wondrously they were begot and bred
And everie one did aske, Did he him see?
He had him seene, and felt the crueltee
And every one threw forth reproches rife
And in the rurall cottages inquir'd;
How he their heedelesse harts with love had fir'd, Of the sunbeames in moyst complexion,
And his false venim through their veines inspir'd; Doe life conceive and quickned are by kynd: And eke the gentle shepheard swaynes, which sat So, after Nilus inundation,
Keeping their fleecy flockes as they were hyr'd, Infinite shapes of creatures men doe fynd
She sweetly heard complaine both how and what Informed in the mud on which the Sunne hath shynd. Her sonne had to them doen; yet she did smile
She gan avize where els he mote him hyde :
To search the secret haunts of Dianes company. Whereof conceiving shame and foule disgrace, Albe her guiltlesse conscience her cleard,
Shortly unto the wastefull woods she came, She Aed into the wildernesse a space,
Whereas she found the goddesse with her crew, Till that unweeldy burden she had reard,
After late chace of their embrewed game,
From off their dainty limbs the dusty sweat
And soyle, which did deforme their lively hew; And seized every sence with sorrow sore opprest. Others lay shaded from the scorching heat;
The rest upon her person gave attendance great. It fortuned, faire Venus having lost Her little sonne, the winged god of love,
She, having hong upon a bough on high Who for some light displeasure, which him crost, Fler bow and painted quiver, had unlaste Was from her fled as flit as ayery dove,
Her silver buskins from her nimble thigh, And left her blissfull bowre of ioy above;
And her lanck loynes ungirt, and brests unbraste, (So from her often he had fled away,
After her heat the breathing cold to taste; When she for ought him sharpely did reprove, Her golden lockes, that late in tresses bright And wandred in the world in straunge aray,
Embreaded were for hindring of her haste, Disguiz'd in thousand shapes, that none might him Now loose about her shoulders hong undight, bewray ;)
And were with sweet ambrosia all besprinckled light. Him for to seeke, she left her heavenly hous, Soone as she Venus saw behinde her backe, The house of goodly formes and faire aspécts, She was asham'd to be so loose surpriz'd; Whence all the world derives the glorious
And woxe halfe wroth against her damzels slacke, Features of beautię, and all shapes select, That had not her thereof before aviz'd, With which high God his workmanship hath deckt; But suffred her so carelesly disguiz'd And searched everie way through which his wings Be overtaken: soone her garments loose Had borne bim, or his tract she mote detect: Upgath'ring, in her bosome she compriz'd She promist kisses sweet, and sweeter things, Well as she might, and to the goddesse rose ; Unto the man that of him tydings to her brings. Whiles all her nymphes did like a girlond herenclose.
First she him sought in court, where most he us'd Goodly she gan faire Cytherea greet,
From her sweete bowres and beds with pleasures
Thereat Diana gan to smile, in scorne
Up they them tooke, each one a babe uptooke, Of her vaine playnt, and to her scoffing sayd; And with them carried to be fostered : “Great pitty sure that ye be so forlorne
Dame Phæbe to a nymphe her babe betooke Of your gay sonne, that gives you so good ayd To be upbrought in perfect maydenhed, To your disports ; ill mote ye bene apayd !" And, of herselfe, her name Belphæbe red: But she was more engrieved, and replide;
But Venus hers thence far away convayd, « Faire sister, ill beseemes it to upbrayd
To be upbrought in goodly womanhed; A dolefull heart with so disdainfull pride; And, in her litle Loves stead which was strayd, The like that mine may be your paine another tide. Her Amoretta cald, to comfort her dismayd. “ As you in woods and wanton wildernesse She brought her to her ioyous paradize Your glory sett to chace the salvage beasts; Wher most she wonnes, when she on Earth does dwell, So my delight is all in ioyfulnesse,
So faire a place as Nature can devize: In beds, in bowres, in banckets, and in feasts : Whether in Paphos, or Cytheron hill, And ill becomes you, with your lofty creasts,
Or it in Gnidus bee, I wote not well;
And decks the girlonds of her paramoures,
Of all things that are borne to live and dye,
According to their kynds. Long worke it were For he is faire, and fresh in face and guize
Here to account the endlesse progeny As any nimphe; let not it be envide."
Of all the weeds that bud and blossome there;
That none might thorough breake, nor overstride: But, if I catch him in this company,
And double gates it had which opened wide, By Stygian lake I vow, whose sad annoy
By which both in and out men moten pas;
Old Genius, the which a double nature has.
He letteth in, he letteth out to wend
A thousand thousand naked babes attend Which as a fountaine from her sweete lips went About him day and night, which doe require And welled goodly forth, that in short space That he with fleshly weeds would them attire : She was well pleasd, and forth her damzells seut Such as him list, such as eternall fate Through all the woods, to search from place to place Ordained hath, he clothes with sinfull mire, If any tract of him or tidings they mote trace. And sendeth forth to live in mortall state,
Till they agayn returne backe by the hinder gate. To search the god of love her nimphes she sent Throughout the wandring forest every where: After that they againe retourned beene, And after them herselfe eke with her went
They in that gardin planted bee agayne, To seeke the fugitive both farre and nere.
Ard grow afresh, as they had never seene So long they sought, till they arrived were
Fleshly corruption nor mortall payne: In that same shady covert whereas lay
Some thousand yeares so doen they there remayne, Paire Crysogone in slombry traunce whilere; And then of him are clad with other hew, Who in her sleepe (a wondrous thing to say) Or sent into the chaungefull world agayne, Unwares had borne two babes as faire as springing Till thether they retourne where first they grew : day.
So, like a wheele, arownd they ronne from old to new. Unwares she them conceivd, unwares she bore: Ne needs there gardiner to sett or sow, She bore withouten paine, that she conceiv'd To plant or prune; for of their owne accord Withouten pleasure; ne her need implore
All things, as they created were, doe grow, Lucinaes aide: which when they both perceiv'd, And yet remember well the mighty word They were through wonder nigh of sence berev'd, Which first was spoken by th' Almighty Lord, And gazing each on other nought bespake : That bad them to incrcase and multiply: At last they both agreed her seeming grievid Ne doe they need, with water of the ford Out of her heavie swowne pot to awake,
Or of the clouds, to moysten their roots dry; But from her loving side the tender babes to take. Por in themselves eternall moisture they imply,
Infinite shapes of creatures there are bred, There is continuall spring, and harvest there
For both the boughes doe laughing blossoms beare, Sett by itselfe, and ranckt in comely rew;
And with fresh colours decke the wanton pryme, Some fitt for reasonable sowles t'indew;
And eke attonce the heavy trees they clyme, Some made for beasts, some made for birds to weare; Which seeme to labour under their fruites lode: And all the fruitfull spawne of fishes hew
The whiles the joyous birdes make their pastyme In endlesse rancks along enraunged were,
Emongst the shady leaves, their sweet abode, That seemd the ocean could not containe them there. And their trew loves without suspition tell abrode. Daily they grow, and daily forth are sent
Right in the middest of that paradise Into the world, it to replenish more;
There stood a stately mount, on whose round top Yet is the stocke not lessened nor spent,
A gloomy grove of mirtle trees did rise, But still remaines in everlasting store
Whose shady boughes sharp steele did never lop, As it at first created was of yore:
Nor wicked beastes their tender buds did crop, For in the wide wombe of the world there lyes, But like a girlond compassed the hight, In hatefull darknes and in deepe horrore,
And from their fruitfull sydes sweet gum did drop, An huge eternall Chaos, wbich supplyes
That all the ground, with pretious deaw bedight, The substaunces of Natures fruitfull progenyes. Threw forth most dainty odours and most sweet
But of the trees owne inclination made,
Which knitting their rancke braunches part to part, That substaunce is eterne, and bideth so;
With wanton yvie-twine entrayld athwart,
Fashiond above within their inmost part, (throng, But chaunged is and often altred to and froe. That nether Phæbus beams could through them
Nor Aeolus sharp blast could worke them any wrong. The substaunce is not chaungd nor altered, But th' only forme and outward fashion ;
And all about grew every sort of flowre, For every substaunce is conditioned
To which sad lovers were transformde of yore; To chaunge her hew, and sondry formes to don, Fresh Hyacinthus, Phæbus paramoure Meet for her temper and complexion:
And dearest love; For formes are variable, and decay
Foolish Narcisse, that likes the watry shore; By course of kinde and by occasion ;
Sad Amaranthus, made a flowre but late, And that faire flowre of beautie fades away,
Sad Amaranthus, in whose purple gore As doth the lilly fresh before the suuny ray.
Me seemes I see Amintas wretched fate,
To whom sweet poets verse hath given endlesse date. Great enimy to it, and to all the rest That in the Gardin of Adonis springs,
There wont fayre Venus often to enioy
Her deare Adonis joyous company,
And all their glory to the ground downe flings, There yet, some say, in secret he does ly, • Where they do wither and are fowly mard : Lapped in flowres and pretious spycery, He flyes about, and with his faggy wings
By her bid from the world, and from the skill Beates downe both leaves and buds without regard, Of Stygian gods, which doe her love envy; Ne ever pitty may relent his malice hard. But she herselfe, whenever that she will,
Possesseth him, and of his sweetnesse takes her fill: Yet pitty often did the gods relent, To see so faire thinges mard and spoiled quight: And sooth, it seernes, they say; for he may not And their great mother Venus did lament
For ever dye, and ever buried bee
All be he subject to mortalitie,
Transformed oft, and chaunged diverslie: All things decay in time, and to their end doe For bim the father of all formes they call; draw.
Therfore needs mote he live, that living gives to all. But were it not that time their troubler is, There now he liveth in eternal blis, All that in this delightfull gardin growes
loying his goddesse, and of ber enioyd ; Should happy bee, and have immortall blis : Ne feareth he henceforth that foe of his, For here all plenty and all pleasure flowes; Which with his cruell tuske him deadly cloyd : And sweete Love gentle fitts emongst them throwes, For that wilde bore, the which him once annoyd, Without fell rancor or fond gealosy :
She firmely hath emprisoned for ay, Franckly each paramour his leman knowes ; (That her sweet love his malice mote avoyd) Each bird bis mate; ne any does envy
In a strong rocky cave, which is, they say, (may. Their goodly meriment and gay felicity,
Hewen underneath that mount, that none him losen