« PreviousContinue »
But Cynthia's selfe, more angry then the rest,
Thought not enough to punish him in sport,
And of her shame to make a gamesome jest;
But gan examine him in straighter sort,
Which of her Nymphes, or other close consort,
Him thither brought, and her to him betraid.
He, much affeard, to her confessed short
That 'twas Molanna which her so bewraid.
Then all attonce their hands upon Molanna laid.
But him (according as they had decreed)
With a Deeres-skin they covered, and then chast With all their hounds that after him did speed; But he, more speedy, from them fled more fast Then any Deere; so sore him dread aghast. They after follow'd all with shrill out-cry, Shouting as they the heavens would have brast; That all the woods and dales, where he did flie, Did ring againe, and loud reeccho to the skię.
Nath'lesse Diana, full of indignation,
Thenceforth abandond her delicious brooke;
So they him follow'd till they weary were;
When, back returning to Molann' againe,
They, by commaund'ment of Diana, there
Her whelm'd with stones: Yet Faunus, for her paine,
Of her beloved Fanchin did obtaine,
That her he would receive unto his bed.
In whose sweete streame, before that bad occasion,
So much delight to bathe her limbes she tooke:
Ne onely her, but also quite forsooke
All those faire forrests about Arlo hid;
So now her waves passe through a pleasant Plaine,
Till with the Fanchin she herselfe doe wed,
And, both combin'd, themselves in one faire river spred.
And all that Mountaine, which doth overlooke
The richest champian that may else be rid;
And the faire Shure, in which are thousand Salmons bred.
Them all, and all that she so deare did way,
Thenceforth she left; and, parting from the place,
Thereon an heavy haplesse curse did lay;
To weet, that Wolves, where she was wont to space,
Shou'd harbour'd be and all those Woods deface,
And Thieves should rob and spoile that Coast around.
Since which, those Woods, and all that goodly Chase
Doth to this day with Wolves and Thieves abound:
Which too-too true that lands in-dwellers since have found!
Pealing from Jove to Natures Bar,
Bold Alteration pleades
Large Evidence: but Nature soone
Her righteous Doome areads.
whither doost thou now, thou
Me from these woods and pleasing forrests bring? And my fraile spirit, that dooth oft refuse
This too high flight unfit for her weake wing,
Lift up aloft, to tell of heavens King
(Thy soveraine Sire) his fortunate successe ;
And victory in bigger noates to sing,
Which he obtain'd against that Titanesse,
That him of heavens Empire sought to dispossesse?
Yet, sith I needs must follow thy behest,
Doe thou my weaker wit with skill inspire,
Fit for this turne; and in my sable brest
Kindle fresh sparks of that immortall fire
Which learned minds inflameth with desire
Of heavenly things: for who, but thou alone
That art yborne of heaven and heavenly Sire,
Can tell things doen in heaven so long ygone,
So farre past memory of man that may be knowne ?
Now, at the time that was before agreed,
The Gods assembled all on Arlo Hill;
As well those that are sprung of heavenly seed,
As those that all the other world doe fill,
And rule both sea and land unto their will:
Onely th' infernall Powers might not appeare;
As well for horror of their count'naunce ill,
As for th' unruly fiends which they did feare;
Yet Pluto and Proserpina were present there.
And thither also came all other creatures,
Whatever life or motion doe retaine,
According to their sundry kinds of features;
That Arlo scarsly could them all containe;
So full they filled every hill and Plaine:
And had not Natures Sergeant (that is Order)
Them well disposed by his busie paine,
And raunged farre abroad in every border,
They would have caused much confusion and disorder.
Then forth issew'd (great Goddesse) great Dame Nature 5
With goodly port and gracious Majesty,
Being far greater and more tall of stature
Then any of the gods or Powers on hie;
Yet certes by her face and physnomy,
Whether she man or woman inly were,
That could not any creature well descry;
For, with a veile that wimpled every where,
Her head and face was hid that mote to none appeare.
That, some doe say, was so by skill devized,
To hide the terror of her uncouth hew
From mortall eyes that should be sore agrized;
For that her face did like a Lion shew,
That eye of wight could not indure to view:
But others tell that it so beautious was,
And round about such beames of splendor threw,
That it the Sunne a thousand times did pass,
Ne could be seene but like an image in a glass.
That well may seemen true; for well I weene
That this same day, when she on Arlo sat,
Her garment was so bright and wondrous sheene,
That my fraile wit cannot devize to what
It to compare, nor finde like stuffe to that:
As those three sacred Saints, though else most wise,
Yet on Mount Thabor quite their wits forgat,
When they their glorious Lord in strange disguise
Transfigur'd sawe; his garments so did daze their eyes.
In a fayre Plaine upon an equall Hill
She placed was in a pavilion;
Not such as Craftesmen by their idle skill
Are wont for Princes states to fashion;
But th' Earth herself, of her owne motion,
Out of her fruitfull bosome made to growe
Most dainty trees, that, shooting up anon,
Did seeme to bow their bloosming heads full lowe
For homage unto her, and like a throne did shew.
So hard it is for any living wight
All her array and vestiments to tell,
That old Dan Geffrey (in whose gentle spright,
The pure well-head of Poesie did dwell)
In his Foules purley durst not with it mell,
But it transferd to Alane, who he thought
Had in his Plaint of kindes describ'd it well:
Which who will read set forth so as it ought,
Go seek he out that Alane where he may be sought.
And all the earth far underneath her feete
Was dight with flowers, that voluntary grew Out of the ground, and sent forth odours sweet; Tenne thousand mores of sundry sent and hew, That might delight the smell, or please the view, The which the Nymphes from all the brooks thereby Had gathered, they at her foot-stoole threw ; That richer seem'd then any tapestry, That princes bowres adorne with painted imagery.
And Mole himselfe, to honour her the more,
Did deck himself in freshest faire attire ;
And his high head, that seemeth alwaies hore
With hardned frosts of former winters ire,
He with an Oaken girlond now did tire,
As if the love of some new Nymph late seene
Had in him kindled youthfull fresh desire,
And made him change his gray attire to greene:
Ah! gentle Mole, such joyance hath thee well beseene.