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Which through the flood before did softly slyde
And swim away; yet had he by his side
His plough and harnesse fit to till the ground,
And tooles to prune the trees, before the pride

Of hasting Prime did make them burgein 2 round. So past the twelve Months forth, and their dew places

found.

44 And after these there came the Day and Night,

Riding together both with equall pase;
Th’ one on a palfrey blacke, the other white:
But Night had covered her uncomely face
With a blacke veile, and held in hand a mace,
On top whereof the moon and stars were pight,
And Sleep and Darknesse round about did trace 4:

But Day did beare upon his scepters hight
The goodly sun encompast all with beamës bright.

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45 Then came the Howres, faire daughters of high Iove

And timely Night; the which were all endewed
With wondrous beauty fit to kindle love;
But they were virgins all, and love eschewed
That might forslack 5 the charge to them fore-

shewed 6
By mighty Iove; who did them porters make
Of heavens gate, whence all the gods issued,

Which they did dayly watch, and nightly wake By even turnes, ne ever did their charge forsake.

1 Prime, Spring.
2 Burgein, burgeon, bud.
8 Pight, placed.

4.Trace, move.
5 Forslack, delay.
6 Foreshewed, appointed

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46 And after all came Life; and lastly Death:

Death with most grim and griesly visage seene,
Yet is he nought but parting of the breath;
Ne ought to see, but like a shade to weene,
Unbodied, unsoul'd, unheard, unseene:
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 em-

ploy.

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17 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?”

48

Then thus

gan Iove: “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 wee, Which poure that virtue from our heavenly cell

That moves them all, and makes them changed he? So them we gods doe rule, and in them also thee.”

1 Disserse, dispossess.

49 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 powre 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 ordred by your ayde;

Yet what if I can prove, that even yee
Yourselves are likewise chang’d, and subiect unto

mee?

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60

And first, concerning her that is the first,
Even 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.

61

“ Next Mercury; who though he lesse appeare
To change his hew, and alwayes seeme as one;
Yet he his course doth altar 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 Phoebus self, who lightsome is alone,

1 Crake, boast.

Yet is he oft eclipsed by the way, Aud fills the darkned world with terror and disinay.

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“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 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.

1

53

6 But

you,

Dan Iove, that only constant are, And king of all the rest, as ye do clame, Are you not subiect eeke to this misfare 2 ? 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 ap

peare.

3

54

“ 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

i Cranks, bends, devious courses. 2 Misfare, going astray: or, misfortune. 3 Comment, expound; (perhaps) feign.

That 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 1 view.

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65 Besides, the sundry motions of your spheares,

So sundry waies and fashions as clerkes 2 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,
And even itself is mov’d, as wizards saine 3 :

But all that moveth doth Mutation love : Therefore both you and them to me I subiect prove.

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“ Then since within this wide great universe
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 * that is my dew;
That is, the rule of all; all being ruld by you.”

67 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,

i Obliquid, oblique.
- Clerkes, learned men.

8 Wizards saine, wise ones say.
4 Addoom, adjudge.

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