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Ne did he leave the mountaines bare unseene,
Nor the ranke grassie fennes delights untride.
But none of these, how ever sweet they beene,
Mote please his fancie, nor him cause t’abide:
His choicefull sense with every change doth flit;
No common things may please a wavering wit.
To the gay gardins his unstaid desire
Him wholly caried, to refresh his sprights:
There lavish Nature, in her best attire,
Powres forth sweete odors and alluring sights;
And Arte, with her contending, doth aspire,
T'excell the naturall with made delights:
And all, that faire or pleasant may be found,
In riotous excesse doth there abound.
There he arriving, round about doth flie,
From bed to bed, from one to other border ;
And takes survey, with curious busie eye,
Of every flowre and herbe there set in order;
Now this, now that, he tasteth tenderly,
Yet none of them he rudely doth disorder,
Ne with his feete their silken leaves deface;
But pastures on the pleasures of each place.
And evermore with most varietie,
And change of sweetnesse, (for all change is sweete,)
He casts bis glutton sense to satisfie,
Now sucking of the sap of herbe most meet, 186
Or of the deaw, which yet on them does lie,
Now in the same bathing his tender feete:
And then he pearcheth on some braunch thereby,
To weather him, and his moyst wings to dry.
And then againe he turneth to his play,
To spoyle the pleasures of that Paradise;
The wholesome saulge, and lavender still gray,
Ranke-smelling rue, and cummin good for eyes,
The roses raigning in the pride of May,
Sharpe isope good for greene wounds remedies,
Faire marigoldes, and bees-alluring thime,
Sweet marioram, and daysies decking prime:
Coole violets, and orpine growing still,
Embathed balme, and chearfull galingale,
Fresh costmarie, and breathfull camomill,
Dull poppy, and drink-quickning setuale,
Veyne-healing verven, and hed-purging dill,
Sound savorie, and bazil hartie-hale,
Fat colworts, and comforting perseline,
Cold lettuce, and refreshing rosmarine.
And whatso else of vertue good or ill
Grewe in this Gardin, fetcht from farre away,
Of everie one he takes, and tastes at will,
And on their pleasures greedily doth pray.
Then when he hath both plaid, and fed his fill,
In the warme sunne he doth himselfe embay,
And there him rests in riotous suffisaunce ?
Of all his gladfulnes, and kingly ioyaunce.
What more felicitie can fall to creature
Then to enioy delight with libertie,
And to be lord of all the workes of Nature,
To raigne in th' aire from th’ earth to highest skie,
To feed on flowres and weeds of glorious feature,
To take whatever thing doth please the eie?
Who rests not pleased with such happines,
Well worthy he to taste of wretchednes.
But what on earth can long abide in state?
Or who can him assure of happy day?
Sith morning faire may bring fowle evening late,
And least mishap the most blisse alter may !
For thousand perills lie in close awaite
About us daylie, to worke our decay ;
That none, except a God, or God him guide,
May them avoyde, or remedie provide.
And whatso Heavens in their secret doome
Ordained have, how can fraile fleshly wight
Forecast, but it must needs to issue come?
The sea, the aire, the fire, the day, the night,
And th' armies of their creatures all and some
Do serve to them, and with importune might
Warre against us the vassals of their will.
Who then can save what they dispose to spill?
Not thou, O Clarion, though fairest thou
Of all thy kinde, unhappie happie Flie,
Whose cruell fate is woven even now
Of loves owne hand, to worke thy miserie!
Ne may thee help the manie hartie vow,
Which thy old sire with sacred pietie
Hath powred forth for thee, and th' altars sprent 2:
Nought may thee save from Heavens avengement! 240
It fortuned (as Heavens had behight')
That in this Gardin, where yong Clarion
Was wont to solace him, a wicked wight,
The foe of faire things, th' author of confusion,
The shame of Nature, the bondslave of Spight, . 245
Had lately built his hatefull mansion ;
And, lurking closely, in awaite now lay,
How he might any in his trap betray.
But when he spide the joyous Butterflie
In this faire plot dispacing a to and fro,
Feareles of foes and hidden jeopardie,
Lord! how he gan for to bestirre him tho,
And to his wicked worke each part applie!
His heart did earne 3 against his hated foe,
And bowels so with rankling poyson swelde,
That scarce the skin the strong contagion helde.
The cause, why he this Flie so maliced, 4
Was (as in stories it is written found)
For that his mother, which bim bore and bred,
The most fine-fingred workwoman on ground, 260
Arachne, by his meanes was vanquished
Of Pallas, and in her owne skill confound,5
When she with her for excellence contended,
That wrought her shame, and sorrow never ended.
For the Tritonian goddesse having hard
Her blazed fame, which all the world had fild,
Came downe to prove the truth, and due reward
· Behight, ordained. 2 Dispacing, ranging about. 3 Earne, yearn.
* Maliced, bore ill-will to. • Confound, confounded.
For her praise-worthie workmanship to yield :
But the presumptuous Damzell rashly dar'd
The goddesse selfe to chalenge to the field, 270
And to compare with her in curious skill
Of workes with loome, with needle, and with quill.
Minerva did the chalenge not refuse,
But deign’d with her the paragon to make:
So to their worke they sit, and each doth chuse
What storie she will for her tapet ? take.
Arachne figurd how love did abuse
Europa like a Bull, and on his backe
Her through the Sea did, beare; so lively seene,
That it true Sea, and true Bull, ye would weene. 280
Shee seem'd still backe unto the land to looke,
And her play-fellowės, ayde to call; and feare
The dashing of the waves, that up she tooke
Her daintie feet, and garments gathered neare :
But (Lord !) how she in everie, member shooke,
When as the land she saw.no, more appeare,
But a wilde wildernes of waters deepe:
Then gan she greatly to lament and weepe.
Before the Bull she pictur'd winged Love,
With his yonig brother Sport, light duttering
Upon the waves, as each had been a Dove' .
The one bis bowe and shafts, the other Spring 2
A burning teade ? about his head did inove,