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V.

CHISWICK PRESS :-C. WHITTINGHAM AND CO., TOOKS COURT,

CHANCERY LANE.

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THE THIRDE BOOKE OF
THE FAERIE QUEENE
CONTAYNING THE LEGEND OF BRITOMARTIS,

OR OF CHASTITY.

CANTO VI.
The birth of fayre Relphæbe and

Of Amorett is told :
The Gardins of Adonis fraught

With pleasures manifold.

ELL

may I weene, faire Ladies, all this while Ye wonder how this noble Damozell

So great perfections did in her compile,
Sith that in salvage forests she did dwell,
So farre from court and royall Citadell,
The great schoolmaistresse of all courtesy :
Seemeth that such wilde woodes should far expell

All civile usage and gentility,
And gentle sprite deforme with rude rusticity.
But to this faire Belphæbe in her berth

The hevens so favorable were and free,
Looking with myld aspect upon the earth
In th' Horoscope of her nativitee,
That all the gifts of

grace

and chastitee On her they poured forth of plenteous horne: Jove langht on Venus from his soverayne see,

And Phæbus with faire beames did her adorne, And all the Graces rockt her cradle being borne.

2

Iler berth was of the wombe of Morning dew, 3

And her conception of the joyous Prime ;
And all her whole creation did her shew
Pure and unspotted from all loathly crime
That is ingenerate in fleshly slime.
So was this virgin borne, so was she bred ;
So was she trayned up from time to time

In all chaste vertue and true bounti-hed,
Till to her dew perfection she were ripened.
Her mother was the faire Chrysogonee,

The daughter of Amphisa, who by race
A Faerie was, yborne of high degree.
She bore Belphebe; she bore in like cace
Fayre Amoretta in the second place : [share
These two were twinnes, and twixt them two did
The heritage of all celestiall grace;

That all the rest it seemd they robbed bare
Of bounty, and of beautie, and all vertues rare.
It were a goodly storie to declare

5 By what straunge accident faire Chrysogone Conceiv'd these infants, and how them she bare In this wilde forrest wandring all alone, After she had nine moneths fulfild and gone: For not as other wemens commune brood They were enwombed in the sacred throne

Of her chaste bodie ; nor with commune food, As other wemens babes, they sucked vitall blood : But wondrously they were begot and bred

6 Through influence of th' hevens fruitfull ray, As it in antique bookes is mentioned. It was upon a Sommers shinie day, When Titan faire his beames did display, In a fresh fountaine, far from all mens vew, She bath'd her brest the boyling heat t'allay ;

She bath'd with roses red and violets blew, And all the sweetest flowers that in the forrest grew:

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