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But Life was like a faire young lusty boy,
Such as they faine Dan Cupid to have beene,
Full of delightfull health and lively joy,
Deckt all with flowres and wings of gold fit to employ.
XLVII. When these were past, thus gan the Titanesse; “Lo! mighty Mother, now be iudge, and say Whether in all thy creatures more or lesse CHANGE doth not raign and beare the greatest sway: For who sees not that Time on all doth pray? But times do change and move continually: So nothing here long standeth in one stay:
Wherefore this lower world who can deny
But to be subiect still to Mutabilitie?”
Then thus gan love; "Right true it is, that these
And all things else that under heaven dwell
Are chaung’d of Time, who doth them all disseise?
Of being : But who is it (to me tell)
That Time himselfe doth move and still compell
To keepe his course? Is not that namely 2 Wee,
Which poure that virtue from our heavenly cell
That moves them all, and makes them changed be? So them We gods doe rule, and in them also Thee.”
To whom thus Mutability ; “The things,
Which we see not how they are mov'd and swayd,
Ye may attribute to yourselves as kings,
And say, they by your secret power are made:
But what we see not, who shall us perswade?
But were they so, as ye them faine to be,
Mov'd by your might, and ordered by your ayde,
Yet what if I can prove, that even Yee
Yourselves are likewise chang’d, and subiect unto Mee?
“ And first, concerning her that is the first,
you, faire Cynthia ; whom so much ye make loves dearest darling, she was bred and nurst On Cynthus hill, whence she her name did take; Then is she mortall borne, howso ye crake 1 : Besides, her face and countenance every day We changed see and sundry forms partake,
Now hornd, now round, now bright, now brown and gray; So that as changefull as the moone men use to say.
“ Next Mercury; who though he lesse appeare
To change his hew, and alwayes seeme as one;
Yet he his course doth alter every yeare,
And is of late far out of order gone:
So Venus eeke, that goodly paragone,
Though faire all night, yet is she darke all day:
And Phæbus self, who lightsome is alone,
Yet is he oft eclipsed by the way,
And fills the darkned world with terror and dismay.
“ Now Mars, that valiant man, is changed most ;
For he sometimes so far runs out of square,
That he his way doth seem quite to have lost,
And cleane 2 without his usuall sphere to fare;
That even these star-gazers stonisht are
At sight thereof, and damne their lying bookes :
So likewise grim Sir Saturne oft doth spare
His sterne aspect, and calme his crabbed lookes: So many turning cranks? these have, so many crookes.
“ But you, Dan Iove, that only constant are,
And king of all the rest, as ye do clame,
Are you not subject eeke to this misfare??
Then let me aske you this withouten blame;
Where were ye borne? Some say in Crete by name,
Others in Thebes, and others otherwhere;
But, wheresoever they comment the same,
They all consent that ye begotten were
And borne here in this world ; ne other can appeare.
“Then are ye mortall borne, and thrall to Me;
Unlesse the kingdome of the sky yee make
Immortall and unchangeable to be:
Besides, that power and vertue, which ye spake,
ye here worke, doth many changes take, And your owne natures change: for each of you, That vertue have or this or that to make,
Is checkt and changed from his nature trew,
By others opposition or obliquid * view.
“ Besides, the sundry motions of your spheares,
So sundry waies and fashions as clerkes 5 faine,
Some in short space, and some in longer yeares ;
What is the same but Alteration plaine?
Onely the starrie skie doth still remaine:
Yet do the starres and signes therein still move,
i Cranks, windings.
2 Misfare, misfortune.
3 Comment, feign, pretend.
* Obliquid, oblique.
• Clerkes, learned men.
And even itself is mov'd, as wizards saine 1 :
But all that moveth doth Mutation love: Therefore both you and them to Me I subiect prove.
LVI. « Then since within this wide
Nothing doth firme and permanent appeare,
But all things tost and turned by transverse ;
What then should let, but I aloft should reare
My trophee, and from all the triumph beare?
Now iudge then, O thou greatest Goddesse trew,
According as thyselfe doest see and heare,
And unto me addoom 2 that is
That is, the Rule of all; all being ruld by You.”
So having ended, silence long ensewed;
Ne Nature to or fro spake for a space,
But with firme eyes affixt the ground still viewed.
Meane while all creatures, looking in her face,
Expecting th’ end of this so doubtfull case,
Did hang in long suspence what would ensew,
To whether side should fall the soveraigne place:
At length she, looking up with chearefull view,
The silence brake, and gave her doome in speeches few :
“I well consider all that ye have sayd;
And find that all things stedfastnes doe hate
And changed be; yet, being rightly wayd,
They are not changed from their first estate;
But by their change their being doe dilate;
And, turning to themselves at length againe,
Doe worke their owne perfection so by fate:
Then over them Change doth not rule and raigne: But they raigne over Change, and doe their states maintaine.
“Cease therefore, Daughter, further to aspire,
And thee content thus to be ruld by Me:
For thy decay thou seekst by thy desire :
But time shall come that all shall changed bee,
And from thenceforth none no more change shall see!”
So was the Titaness put downe and whist,
And love confirm'd in his imperiall see.?
Then was that whole assembly quite dismist,
And Natures selfe did vanish, whither no man wist.3