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The which as soone as Saturns sonne from Heaven aloft did see,
He fetcht a sigh, and therwithall revolving in his thought
The shamefull act which at a feast Lycaon late had wrought,
As yet unknowne or blowne abrode: He gan thereat to storme
And stomacke like an angry Jove. And therfore to reforme
Such haynous actes, he sommonde streight his Court of Parliament,
Whereto resorted all the Gods that had their sommons sent.
Highe in the Welkin is a way apparant to the sight
In starrie nights, which of his passing whitenesse Milkie hight:
It is the streete that to the Court and Princely Pallace leades,
Of mightie Jove whose thunderclaps eche living creature dreades.
On both the sides of this same waye do stand in stately port
The sumptuous houses of the Peeres. For all the common sort
Dwell scattring here and there abrode: the face of all the skie
The houses of the chiefe estates and Princes doe supplie.
And sure and if I may be bolde to speake my fancie free
I take this place of all the Heaven the Pallace for to bee.
Now when the Goddes assembled were, and eche had tane his place,
Jove standing up aloft and leaning on his yvorie Mace,
Right dreadfully his bushie lockes did thrise or four times shake,
Wherewith he made both Sea and Land and Heaven it self to quake,
And afterward in wrathfull wordes his angrie minde thus brake:
I never was in greater care nor more perplexitie,
How to maintaine my soveraigne state and Princelie royaltie,
When with their hundreth handes apiece the Adderfooted rout,
Did practise for to conquere Heaven and for to cast us out.
For though it were a cruell foe: yet did that warre depende
Upon one ground, and in one stocke it had his finall ende.
But now as farre as any sea about the worlde doth winde,
I must destroy both man and beast and all the mortall kinde.
I sweare by Styxes hideous streames that run within the ground,
All other meanes must first be sought: but when there can be found
No helpe to heale a festred sore, it must away be cut,
Lest that the partes that yet are sound, in daunger should be put.
We have a number in the worlde that mans estate surmount,
Of such whom for their private Gods the countrie folkes account,
As Satyres, Faunes, and sundry Nymphes, with Silvanes eke beside,
That in the woods and hillie grounds continually abide.
Whome into Heaven since that as yet we vouch not safe to take,
And of the honour of this place copartners for to make,
Such landes as to inhabite in, we erst to them assignde,
That they should still enjoye the same, it is my will and minde.
But can you thinke that they in rest and safetie shall remaine
When proud Lycaon laye in waite by secret meanes and traine
To have confounded me your Lorde, who in my hand doe beare
The dreadfull thunder, and of whom even you doe stand in feare?
The house was moved at his words and earnestly requirde,
The man that had so traiterously against their Lord conspirde.
Even so when Rebels did arise to stroy the Romane name,
By shedding of our Cesars bloud, the horror of the same
Did pierce the heartes of all mankinde, and made the world to quake.
Whose fervent zeale in thy behalfe (O August) thou did take,
As thankfully as Jove doth heare the loving care of his,
Who beckning to them with his hand, forbiddeth them to hisse.
And therewithall through all the house attentive silence is.
As soone as that his majestie all muttring had alayde,
He brake the silence once againe, and thus unto them sayde:
Let passe this carefull thought of yours: for he that did offende,
Hath dearely bought the wicked Act, the which he did entende.
Yet shall you heare what was his fault and vengeance for the same.
A foule report and infamie unto our hearing came
Of mischiefe used in those times: which wishing all untrew
I did descend in shape of man, th'infamed Earth to vew.
It were a processe overlong to tell you of the sinne,
That did abound in every place where as I entred in.
The bruit was lesser than the truth, and partiall in report.
The dreadfull dennes of Menalus where savage beastes resort
And Cyllen had I overpast, with all the Pynetrees hie
Of cold Lyceus, and from thence I entred by and by
The herbroughlesse and cruell house of late th'Arcadian King,
Such time as twilight on the Earth dim darknesse gan to bring.
I gave a signe that God was come, and streight the common sort
Devoutly prayde, whereat Lycaon first did make a sport
And after said: By open proufe, ere long I minde to see,
If that this wight a mighty God or mortall creature bee.
The truth shall trie it selfe: he ment (the sequele did declare)
To steale upon me in the night, and kyll me unbeware.
And yet he was not so content: but went and cut the throte,
Of one that laye in hostage there, which was an Epyrote:
And part of him he did to rost, and part he did to stewe.
Which when it came upon the borde, forthwith I overthrew
The house with just revenging fire upon the owners hed,
Who seeing that, slipt out of doores amazde for feare, and fled
Into the wilde and desert woods, where being all alone,
As he endevorde (but in vaine) to speake and make his mone,
He fell a howling: wherewithall for verie rage and moode
He ran me quite out of his wits and waxed furious woode.
Still practising his wonted lust of slaughter on the poore
And sielie cattle, thirsting still for bloud as heretofore,
His garments turnde to shackie haire, his armes to rugged pawes:
So is he made a ravening Wolfe: whose shape expressely drawes
To that the which he was before: his skinne is horie graye,
His looke still grim with glaring eyes, and every kinde of waye
His cruell heart in outward shape doth well it selfe bewraye.
Thus was one house destroyed quite, but that one house alone
Deserveth not to be destroyde: in all the Earth is none,
But that such vice doth raigne therein, as that ye would beleve,
That all had sworne and solde themselves to mischiefe us to greve.
And therefore as they all offende: so am I fully bent,
That all forthwith (as they deserve) shall have due punishment.
These wordes of Jove some of the Gods did openly approve,
And with their sayings more to wrath his angry courage move.
And some did give assent by signes. Yet did it grieve them all
That such destruction utterly on all mankinde should fall,
Demaunding what he purposed with all the Earth to doe,
When that he had all mortall men so cleane destroyde, and whoe
On holie Altars afterward should offer frankinsence,
And whother that he were in minde to leave the Earth fro thence
To savage beastes to wast and spoyle, bicause of mans offence.
The king of Gods bade cease their thought and questions in that case,
And cast the care thereof on him. Within a little space
He promist for to frame a newe, an other kinde of men
By wondrous meanes, unlike the first to fill the world agen.
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