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Unwares she them conceivd, unwares she bore: 27
She bore withouten paine, that she conceiv'd
Withouten pleasure; ne her need implore
Lucinaes aide which when they both perceiv'd,
They were through wonder nigh of sence berev'd,
And gazing each on other nought bespake.
At last they both agreed her, seeming griev'd,
Out of her heavie swowne not to awake
But from her loving side the tender babes to take.

Up they them tooke; each one a babe uptooke,
And with them carried to be fostered.
Dame Phœbe to a Nymphe her babe betooke
To be upbrought in perfect Maydenhed,
And, of her selfe, her name Belphœbe red:
But Venus hers thence far away convayd,
To be upbrought in goodly womanhed;
And, in her litle loves stead, which was strayd,
Her Amoretta cald, to comfort her dismayd.

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;
The one of yron, the other of bright gold,


That none might thorough breake, nor overstride:
And double gates it had which opened wide,
By which both in and out men moten pas;
Th' one faire and fresh, the other old and dride.
Old Genius the porter of them was,

Old Genius, the which a double nature has.

He letteth in, he letteth out to wend

All that to come into the world desire.
A thousand thousand naked babes attend
About him day and night, which doe require
That he with fleshly weeds would them attire:
Such as him list, such as eternall fate
Ordained hath, he clothes with sinfull mire,
And sendeth forth to live in mortall state,

Till they agayn returne backe by the hinder gate.

After that they againe retourned beene,
They in that Gardin planted bee agayne,
And grow afresh, as they had never seene
Fleshly corruption, nor mortall payne.



Some thousand yeares so doen they there remayne,
And then of him are clad with other hew,
Or sent into the chaungefull world agayne,

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
All things, as they created were, doe grow,
And yet remember well the mighty word
Which first was spoken by th' Almighty Lord,
That bad them to increase and multiply:
Ne doe they need with water of the ford,
Or of the clouds, to moysten their roots dry;
For in themselves eternall moisture they imply.


Infinite shapes of creatures there are bred,

And uncouth formes, which none yet ever knew: And every sort is in a sondry bed

Sett by it selfe, and ranckt in comely rew;

Some fitt for reasonable sowles t' indew;


Some made for beasts, some made for birds to weare;

And all the fruitfull spawne of fishes hew
In endlesse rancks along enraunged were,

That seemd the Ocean could not containe them there.

Daily they grow, and daily forth are sent
Into the world, it to replenish more;
Yet is the stocke not lessened nor spent,
But still remaines in everlasting store,
As it at first created was of yore:

For in the wide wombe of the world there lyes,
In hatefull darknes and in deepe horrore,

An huge eternall Chaos, which supplyes

The substaunces of natures fruitfull progenyes.


All things from thence doe their first being fetch, 37
And borrow matter whereof they are made;
Which, whenas forme and feature it does ketch,
Becomes a body, and doth then invade
The state of life out of the griesly shade.
That substaunce is eterne, and bideth so;
Ne when the life decayes and forme does fade,
Doth it consume and into nothing goe,
But chaunged is, and often altred to and froe.

The substaunce is not chaungd nor altered,
But th' only forme and outward fashion;
For every substaunce is conditioned


To chaunge her hew, and sondry formes to don, Meet for her temper and complexion: For formes are variable, and decay By course of kinde and by occasion; And that faire flowre of beautie fades away, As doth the lilly fresh before the sunny ray.

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,
All that in this delightfull Gardin growes
Should happy bee, and have immortall blis:
For here all plenty and all pleasure flowes;
And sweete love gentle fitts emongst them throwes,
Without fell rancor or fond gealosy.

Franckly each Paramor his leman knowes,
Each bird his mate; ne any does envy
Their goodly meriment and gay felicity.


There is continuall Spring, and harvest there
Continuall, both meeting at one tyme;
For both the boughes doe laughing blossoms beare,
And with fresh colours decke the wanton Pryme,
And eke attonce the heavenly trees they clyme,
Which seeme to labour under their fruites lode :
The whiles the joyous birdes make their pastyme
Emongst the shady leaves, their sweet abode,
And their trew loves without suspition tell abrode.

Right in the middest of that Paradise


There stood a stately Mount, on whose round top
A gloomy grove of mirtle trees did rise,
Whose shady boughes sharp steele did never lop,
Nor wicked beastes their tender buds did crop,
But like a girlond compassed the hight;

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
But of the trees owne inclination made,
Which knitting their rancke braunches, part to part,
With wanton yvie twine entrayld athwart,
And Eglantine and Caprifole emong,

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, made a flowre but late,
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
Her deare Adonis joyous company,

And reape sweet pleasure of the wanton boy:
There yet, some say, in secret he does ly,
Lapped in flowres and pretious spycery,
By her hid from the world, and from the skill
Of Stygian Gods, which doe her love envy ;
But she her selfe, when ever that she will,

Possesseth him, and of his sweetnesse takes her fill.


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