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Unwares she them conceivd, unwares she bore: 27
But from her loving side the tender babes to take.
Up they them tooke; each one a babe uptooke, 28
Dame Phoebe to a Nymphe her babe betooke
Shee brought her to her joyous Paradize,
Wher most she wonnes when she on earth does dwell; So faire a place as Nature can devize: Whether in Paphos, or Cytheron hill, Or it in Gnidus bee, I wote not well; But well I wote by triall, that this same All other pleasaunt places doth excell, And called is by her lost lovers name, The Gardin of Adonis, far renowmd by fame. In that same Gardin all the goodly flowres, Wherewith dame Nature doth her beautify, And decks the girlonds of her Paramoures, Are fetcht: there is the first seminary Of all things that are borne to live and dye, According to their kynds. Long worke it were Here to account the endlesse progeny
Of all the weeds that bud and blossome there; But so much as doth need must needs be counted here.
It sited was in fruitfull soyle of old,
And girt in with two walls on either side;
That none might thorough breake, nor overstride:
Old Genius, the which a double nature has.
He letteth in, he letteth out to wend
All that to come into the world desire.
After that they againe retourned beene,
Some thousand yeares so doen they there remayne,
Till thether they retourne where first they grew : So, like a wheele, arownd they ronne from old to new.
Ne needs there Gardiner to sett or sow,
To plant or prune; for of their owne accord
Infinite shapes of creatures there are bred,
And uncouth formes, which none yet ever knew:
Sett by it selfe, and ranckt in comely rew;
Some made for beasts, some made for birds to weare;
That seemd the Ocean could not containe them there.
Daily they grow, and daily forth are sent
For in the wide wombe of the world there lyes,
An huge eternall Chaos, which supplyes
The substaunces of natures fruitfull progenyes.
All things from thence doe their first being fetch, 37
But chaunged is, and often altred to and froe.
The substaunce is not chaungd nor altered,
To chaunge her hew, and sondry formes to don,
For formes are variable, and decay
Great enimy to it, and all the rest
That in the Gardin of Adonis springs,
Is wicked Tyme; who with his scyth addrest Does mow the flowring herbes and goodly things, And all their glory to the ground downe flings, Where they do wither, and are fowly mard: He flyes about, and with his flaggy winges Beates downe both leaves and buds without regard, Ne ever pitty may relent his malice hard.
Yet pitty often did the gods relent,
To see so faire thinges mard and spoiled quight; And their great mother Venus did lament The losse of her deare brood, her deare delight: Her hart was pierst with pitty at the sight, When walking through the Gardin them she saw, Yet no'te she find redresse for such despight: For all that lives is subject to that law; All things decay in time, and to their end doe draw.
But were it not that Time their troubler is,
Franckly each Paramor his leman knowes,
Their goodly meriment and gay felicity.
There is continuall Spring, and harvest there
Right in the middest of that Paradise
There stood a stately Mount, on whose round top
And from their fruitfull sydes sweet gum did drop, That all the ground, with pretious deaw bedight, Threw forth most dainty odours and most sweet delight.
And in the thickest covert of that shade
There was a pleasaunt Arber, not by art
Fashiond above within their inmost part, [throng, That nether Phoebus beams could through them Nor Aeolus sharp blast could worke them any wrong.
And all about grew every sort of flowre,
To which sad lovers were transformde of yore; Fresh Hyacinthus, Phœbus paramoure
And dearest love;
Foolish Narcisse, that likes the watry shore;
Sad Amaranthus, in whose purple gore
Me seemes I see Amintas wretched fate,
To whom sweet Poets verse hath given endlesse date.
There wont fayre Venus often to enjoy
And reape sweet pleasure of the wanton boy :